Netanyahu to Meet With Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad Next Week

Sides will meet to discuss stalled peace talks; Palestinians expected to tell Netanyahu they are unwilling to return to negotiations as long as Israel continues building in the settlements.

A delegation headed by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and comprising top Palestinian officials will arrive in Jerusalem next week to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli sources confirmed on Wednesday.

The delegation is expected to present Netanyahu with a letter from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressing the stalled peace process.

Salam Fayyad

Abbas' political adviser Nimar Hamad said on Wednesday that the delegation would  include PLO Executive Committee Secretary Yasser Abed Rabbo and Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Speaking to Voice of Palestine Radio station, Hamad said the letter would emphasize that the Palestinians are unwilling to conduct renewed negotiations as long as Israel continues building in the settlements, and that Israel must honor international agreements and agree to conduct negotiations on the basis of the 1967 borders.

On Tuesday, Haaretz reported that Netanyahu intended to send a letter to Abbas calling on him to return to the negotiating table promptly and without preconditions. A senior Israeli official said Netanyahu's letter would be sent in response to Abbas' letter.

Netanyahu's letter will stress Israel's willingness to resume the talks that took place in Amman in January, under the aegis of the Middle East Quartet and Jordan's King Abdullah.

In his letter, Netanyahu will state that Israel is willing to discuss all of the core issues: borders, security arrangements, refugees, water, settlements and the fate of Jerusalem.

Netanyahu is expected to write Abbas that he is not laying down any preconditions to the negotiations and expects that the Palestinians would do the same.

However, Netanyahu will stress that any peace agreement between the sides would have to include Palestinian recognition of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and their agreement on appropriate security arrangements.

Read this article in Hebrew