No progress in Abbas-Olmert talks

Meeting was "very frank and very difficult", aide to Palestinian president says.

    The talks were held at Olmert's official
    residence in Jerusalem [AP]
    Your Views

    "The land of Israel belongs to both Jews and Palestinians - as long as there are people who reject this fact, the conflict will never be solved"

    Iskander, Boston, US

    Send us your views

    The UN, US, EU and Russia want the Palestinian government to recognise Israel, renounce violence and accept existing interim peace deals.
     
    An Israeli government official said Olmert "presented the Quartet conditions and said that Israel cannot co-operate with a government or with a part of a government that does not respect these conditions".
     
    However, Olmert has promised to keep a channel of communication open with the Abbas, a policy promoted by the US, which plans to send Condoleezza Rice, its top diplomat, back to the region in the next few weeks.
     
    Olmert and Abbas spent part of the session in face-to-face talks without aides present and agreed to talk "on a regular basis", an Israeli official said.
     
    Managing expectations
     
    Before the meeting, the third Olmert and Abbas have held since December, both sides played down expectations of a breakthrough. Neither leader made statements at the start or end of the talks.
     
    Last month's Saudi-brokered Palestinian coalition agreement that calmed weeks of warfare between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah faction contains a promise to "respect" previous Israeli-Palestinian accords.
     
    It does not, however, commit the incoming government to abide by those pacts, nor to accept international conditions which are key to the resumption of aid to the Palestinian Authority, which was cut off by the West after Hamas came to power more than a year ago.
     
    Ismail Haniya, the Palestinian prime minister from Hamas, said a unity government could be announced as early as Monday.
     
    In remarks before the session, Olmert made comments before the meeting that appeared to open the door to exploring whether a 2002 Saudi peace initiative could serve as an alternative track towards an Israeli-Palestinian settlement.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.