Olmert to meet Abbas in West Bank

Israeli PM would be first to travel to a Palestinian city in more than six years.

    Recent talks have largely been restricted to security and financial issues [Reuters]
    Olmert's office declined to list what specific key issues would be discussed.
     
    An Israeli government spokesman said only that most of the meeting would be one-on-one and focus on "how to arrive at the two-state solution".
     
    Final status
     
    Saeb Erekat, an Abbas aide, said there were three so-called final status issues of common borders, the status of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees.
     
    The last round of final status talks broke down six years ago and Israeli officials stressed that the talks getting under way on Monday would fall far short of a resumption of final-status negotiations.
     
    Recent talks between Abbas and Olmert have largely been restricted to financial and security issues and to creating a "political horizon", which Israel defined as the legal, economic and governmental structures of a Palestinian state.
     
    Israeli officials said the goal was to reach agreement on a set of common principles on borders, refugees and other issues without filling in the most divisive details, such as which Jewish settlements would have to be uprooted.
     
    If Olmert and Abbas agree on "principles", they will be presented to a US-sponsored conference expected to be held in November, Israeli and Western officials said.
     
    Olmert and Abbas would then set up working groups to begin negotiating the details, according to Western officials.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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