Report: Palestinians Reject Bid for Bi-weekly Netanyahu-Abbas Meetings

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat tells BBC in Arabic that it is too early to decide nature of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks meetings.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat rejected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal to hold a face-to-face meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas every two weeks, Israel Radio reported on Saturday, citing an interview Erekat gave to the BBC in Arabic.

Erekat reportedly said that it was too early to determine who would meet with who, when the talks would take place and the location of the meetings.

Erekat emphasized that the most important issue in the direct peace talks, set to kick off in Washington next week, would be whether or not Netanyahu extends the freeze on settlement construction, which is scheduled to expire on September 26.

Mahmoud Abbas and Saeb Erekat - AP - Feb. 6, 2010

Palestinian officials have said that a renewal of Israel settlement construction in the West Bank after the 10-month freeze would cause the direct talks to fail.

On Thursday, Netanyahu proposed to the U.S. administration that he meet with Abbas every two weeks to try to forge covert understandings and set principles to solve every issue.

"Serious negotiations in the Middle East mean only direct, quiet and consecutive talks between the two leaders on the key issues," Netanyahu said.