Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Saudi Arabia Tuesday on
a surprise visit.
He was originally expected to chair a meeting of PLO
and Fatah leaders in Ramallah to discuss the second round of talks with Israel,
slated for August 14. However, the meeting did not take place and Abbas flew to
Jeddah, where he is scheduled to hold talks with King Abdullah bin Abdel
No reason was given for the cancellation of the PLO and Fatah
meeting in Ramallah.
However, sources in Ramallah said that the meeting
could take place after the Muslim feast of Id al-Fitr, which begins Thursday and
ends on Sunday.
The sources said that Abbas may have called off the
meeting due to growing opposition in the PLO and Fatah to his decision to resume
the peace talks without a settlement freeze and Israeli acceptance of the
pre-1967 lines as the basis for a two state solution.
PA officials have
condemned recent Israeli plans to continue building housing units in east
Jerusalem and some West Bank settlements.