U.S. President Barack Obama's Middle East envoy held inconclusive talks on Wednesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about efforts to resume stalled talks with Palestine in an indirect format.
A terse statement issued by Netanyahu's spokesman said the Israeli leader would meet again with the envoy, George Mitchell, on Thursday, making no reference to an earlier hoped-for launch this week of U.S.-brokered negotiations.
An Israeli official told a reporter on condition of anonymity that these so-called "proximity" talks could not be announced before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stated his agreement to join in.
Netanyahu and Mitchell "met this evening for a working meeting of about three hours. They decided to meet again tomorrow," the Israeli leader's spokesman, Nir Hefez, said in a written statement after the two met in Jerusalem.
Mitchell was due to see Abbas, currently abroad, on Friday.
A spokesman for Abbas said earlier Palestine would participate in the indirect talks with Israel only after approval by the Palestine Liberation Organisation's Executive Committee, scheduled to convene on Saturday.
"If the executive approves these indirect negotiations, all the final-status issues will be on the table for discussion," said Abbas's spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdainah. "Absolutely no issue will be excluded and Jerusalem will be the top priority."
ReutersLast Mod: 06 Mayıs 2010, 08:58