barak - Defense Ministry - September 10 2010
Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Photo by Defense Ministry
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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday that he met with Defense Minister Ehud Barak ten days ago in Amman, Jordan.

Abbas made the statement during a meeting with Israeli intellectuals in Ramallah.

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Abbas said that he and Barak discussed "mutual interests" as well as the future of ties between Israel and the Palestinians.

The defense minister's office declined to comment on Abbas' statement but did not deny that such a meeting occurred.

During Monday's meeting with Israeli intellectuals, Abbas said that security cooperation with Israel will continue, regardless of the UN vote on Palestinian statehood.

In late July, Haaretz reported that President Shimon Peres had been holding intensive talks with Palestinian officials in an effort to restart peace talks and head off a unilateral Palestinian statehood bid at the UN in September.

In August, a Palestinian official told AFP that Peres met with Abbas four times in recent months.

The Palestinian official said that a fifth meeting was scheduled to take place between the two leaders in Amman in late July but was cancelled when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded that Peres not meet Abbas.