Erekat: Abbas to meet with Obama soon

Negotiator says US gov't granted PA request for Washington meeting.

April 25, 2010 09:36
US Mideast envoy George Mitchell shakes hands with

mitchell erekat shake hands 311. (photo credit: AP)

Aides to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas say the Palestinian leader could meet with US President Barack Obama soon.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that the Palestinians requested such a meeting and were told by Obama's envoy that the US leader would see Abbas in the near future. Erekat said Sunday that no date was set.

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Another aide, Yasser Abed Rabbo, told Palestinian radio that "there is talk about an invitation for President Abbas to visit Washington," possibly next month.

No word was given on whether Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would be invited to the meeting.

The US is trying to persuade the Palestinians to hold indirect talks with Israel and to end a 16-month breakdown in communications. The Palestinians are reluctant because Israel refuses to stop construction in east Jerusalem and surrounding areas that the Palestinians see as their future capital. staff contributed to this report.

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