Barak and Mitchell meet, discuss move to direct talks

Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell in Jerusalem on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of moving from proximity talks to direct peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.
Barak said the move to direct talks would require a Palestinian willingness to do so without demanding any preconditions be met.
The Defense Minister is scheduled to meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad in the coming days.  Barak said the two would discuss the move to direct talks as well as cooperation between Israel and the PA on security issues.  He added that because of the improvement of the PA's security apparatus in cooperation with the work of the Shin Bet and the IDF, the situation in the West Bank is better than it has been in the past.