Palestinian officials: Abbas open to meeting with Netanyahu

August 26, 2009 14:22

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is open to a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the United Nations next month, Palestinian officials said Wednesday. The meeting would be the first between the two leaders since Netanyahu took office in March. Abbas has refused to reopen peace talks until Netanyahu halts all construction in settlements in the West Bank, though the prime minister rejects this demand. The Palestinian officials said Abbas is not dropping his conditions, and that the meeting would be a chance to talk, but would not amount to negotiations. Netanyahu said in London on Wednesday that he hopes peace talks can restart soon. The Palestinian officials spoke on condition of anonymity because a formal meeting had not been set.

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