(photo credit: Matty STERN/U.S. EMBASSY TEL - AVIV)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak met US Middle East envoy George Mitchell in Tel Aviv Thursday. In the hour-long meeting, Barak and Mitchell discussed ways of launching the proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and applying them as a catalyst for starting direct talks.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also held discussions with Mitchell on
both Wednesday and Thursday, but it remained unclear whether this was indeed
the long-awaited start to US-mediated indirect talks.
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While Israel has said it agreed to the indirect proximity talks as a
corridor into direct talks later, the Palestinian Authority is waiting
for final approval
from the PLO’s Central Committee.
“Until now we can’t say whether there’s an agreement [to resume the
talks] or not,” PA President Mahmoud Abbas said after meeting with
Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Jordan on Wednesday.
Herb Keinon and Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this story.