Israeli, Palestinian negotiators meet to begin "core-issue" talks
( dpa ) - Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were meeting in Jerusalem Monday for their first discussion on the so-called core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The talks mark the first negotiations in seven years on such issues as the future of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees and their descendents, security issues, and the borders of the future Palestinian state.
The talks will be continuous and are expected to take place every week or so.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Ariye Mekel said any problems the negotiators are unable to agree on during the sessions would be referred to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who are slated to meet every two or so weeks.
The sides agreed last week, during US President George W Bush's visit to Israel and the Palestinian areas, to begin their long- delayed talks on the core issues.
A previous serious attempt to deal with the issues - at Camp David in July 2000 - ended without agreement and led to the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising in September of that year.
Negotiations at the Egyptian resort of Taba in early 2001 also broke off without result.