Will Netanyahu's Meeting With the Palestinian PM Be Canceled?

Place and time of meeting are still unconfirmed; if Salam Fayyad does not attend the meet, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat will head delegation in his stead.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Tuesday morning that the meeting  between Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad might be canceled.

Salam Fayyad was due to head a Palestinian delegation meeting with the Israeli premier on Tuesday afternoon, but the time and place of the scheduled talks have not been confirmed.

Salam Fayyad, Palestinian Authority, PA - AP - 23.5.11

At the meeting, Fayyad was due to present Netanyahu with a missive from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the stalled peace talks

In an interview with Army Radio, Barak said that Fayyad is not interested in meeting with Netanyahu, because of differences of opinion over internal Palestinian issues.

In addition to this, a European diplomat and two Israeli officials confirmed that Fayyad is against the passing of a missive to Netanyahu from PA President Mahmoud Abbas, which was due to take place at the meeting, and that he does want to head the Palestinian delegation meeting Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

The time and place of the meeting were still unconfirmed on Tuesday morning. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Tuesday morning that he had still not been notified by Israel of the time the meeting is due to take place. Erekat also insisted that Fayyad would be attending the meeting.

The Prime Minister's Office refused to provide details of the meeting on Tuesday morning or to respond to the claims that the meeting would not take place.

If Fayyad does not attend the meeting, Saeb Erekat will head the delegation. If this is the case, it is uncertain whether Netanyahu would actually attend thye meeting, or whether he would prefer Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molcho to attend in his stead.

Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator, who is expected to attend Tuesday meeting, told the United Nations envoy to the Middle East, Robert Serry, that the meeting’s goal is merely transferring Abbas’s message and that what is important is what happens afterwards.

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