Israeli, Palestinian teams to negotiate core issues Monday
( dpa )- Israeli and Palestinian negotiation teams will meet in Jerusalem on Monday to start discussions on the so-called "core issues" of the conflict.
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and former Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qureia , the leading negotiators for the two sides, will participate in the meeting, an Israeli official said.
Last week, a day before US President George W Bush arrived for a three-day visit to Israel and the West Bank, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed to begin such negotiations as soon as possible.
Speaking in Ramallah Sunday, Abbas said the talks would focus on the permanent status issues.
The core issues - the future of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees and their descendants, the borders of the future Palestinian state, along with Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and Israeli security concerns - are all considered potential deal-breakers.
Olmert may face a shake up in his coalition, as Avigdor Lieberman, the head of the right-wing Israel Beiteinu party, has threatened to quit the government if the teams discuss the core issues.
Olmert would still have a majority in Knesset even if the 11 member party were to quit the coalition, though other hardliners have hinted they might leave as well.