Livni, Abbas Meet for First Time Since Breakdown in Peace Talks

Justice minister meets with Palestinian president in London to discuss Hamas unity government and future of peace talks.


Justice Minister Tzipi Livni met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in London on Thursday, a senior Israeli official said.

This is the first meeting between Abbas and a senior Israeli minister in several months.

Livni, who is the senior Israeli negotiator in the peace talks with the Palestinians, told Abbas in the meeting that the establishment of a unity government with Hamas is very problematic for Israel and will make it difficult to renew negotiations.

The Israeli official said that the goal of the meeting was to attempt to understand Abbas' intentions following the breakdown of peace talks with Israel. The meeting was arranged on short notice due to the fact that both Livni and Abbas were in London at the same time. The official said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was notified by Livni ahead of the meeting. Israel's Channel 2 was the first to report on the meeting.

On Thursday, Livni met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the two discussed the future of peace negotiations.