Abbas says he will meet PM Olmert next week

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday he would meet Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert next week, following a recent pledge by the two men to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that they would meet every two weeks. Abbas announced the upcoming meeting during an Easter visit to Christian leaders in Bethlehem. He did not give a date or agenda. Olmert's office had no immediate comment. Rice said during her latest round of shuttle diplomacy last month that the first talks between the two leaders would be on practical questions, not the "final status" issues that would define a final peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. But she did not rule out formal negotiations on those hard questions further down the line.