Netanyahu. Wants 'quiet understandings'
Photo: Reuters
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Dennis Ross, In Israel
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky

PM offers bi-weekly meeting with Abbas

Netanyahu briefs his advisors on suggestion he made to Americans: He will lead peace negotiations with Palestinian president himself, discuss fundamental issues with Abbas every fortnight, while parties' teams discuss details

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his advisors on Thursday evening for a preparation discussion ahead of the restart of direct peace talks with the Palestinians next week in Washington.


Netanyahu suggested to the Americans that he would meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas every fortnight for the purpose of "quiet understandings."


The burning issue of the freeze is still being discussed with the Americans, with senior advisor Dennis Ross in Israel for the preliminary talks.


Thursday evening's meeting was attended by the prime minister's special delegate to the negotiations, Attorney Yitzhak Molcho, National Security Advisor Uzi Arad, Chief of Staff Natan Eshel, Director of Policy Planning Ron Dremer, and National Information Directorate head Nir Hefetz.


Netanyahu told them that he plans to lead the negotiations personally, with the help of a small and discreet team. When the need arises, the team would be reinforced with professionals in different areas.


Netanyahu informed his advisors that Attorney Molcho would be his chief negotiator. He offered the Americans to lead the peace process himself in the format of "direct talks between leaders every two weeks."


According to the prime minister's suggestion, he would meet with Abbas every fortnight, and together they would try to reach quiet understandings on fundamental issues. The parties' teams would discuss the details later on.


Netanyahu said in a closed forum Thursday, "Real negotiations in the Middle East are only direct, quiet and continuous talks between the leaders on the fundamental issues. This is why I offered to hold the talks in this format."


Meanwhile, Israel has yet to decide whether to continue the settlement construction freeze after the end of the moratorium on September 26. The Palestinians have threatened to quit the talks should the building resume.


Israeli representatives are holding talks on this issue with the Americans, who have sent a delegation to Israel headed by Dennis Ross.


The parties are trying to come up with a "creative solution" on the matter and deal with the political crisis which may arise following an Israeli decision to build beyond the Green Line. The matter will be discussed at the start of the direct talks next week.



פרסום ראשון: 08.27.10, 07:19
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