Palestinian Interior Minister Saeed Abu Ali has left for Washington together with the commander of the Palestinian Preventive Security Service, Ziyad Hab al-Rih, for security consultations.
The meetings are aimed at examining the Palestinian Authority's preparedness for taking full security control of additional territories in the West Bank, which now belong to Areas B and C and will become part of Area A. The two officials will be joined by additional Palestinians officers later on.
The discussions will deal with the PA organization's readiness and ability to control the communities handed over to the PA's command, as part of trust-building measures Israel is slated to perform as a precondition for launching indirect peace talks demanded by the Palestinians and the United States.
So far, the sides have failed to agree on a formula which would allow them to start the negotiations.
As part of the gestures demanded by the Palestinians, Israel is slated to withdraw to the pre-intifada lines and to hand over territories defined as Areas B and C, according to previous understandings with the PA.
According to different reports, the Palestinians are expected to gain control of communities in the Jerusalem area, including the town of Abu-Dis.