Palestinian President to meet Israeli premier next week

Other News Materials 15 November 2008 12:46 (UTC +04:00)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will meet next week in Jerusalem to discuss U.S.-backed peace negotiations, a senior Palestinian official said Saturday.

"President Abbas will meet Olmert Monday (November 17) in Jerusalem," said Saeb Erekat, a senior negotiator in peace talks with the Jewish state, reported Reuters.

Olmert has been serving as caretaker prime minister since he quit amid corruption scandals on September 21. Israeli officials have said he will pursue the peace talks until his last day in office. A parliamentary election is scheduled for February 10.

Washington had hoped to prod Israel and the Palestinians toward a peace deal by the end of this year but progress has been stymied by political instability in Israel, Jewish settlement in the West Bank and violence in the Gaza Strip.

Olmert's Kadima party elected Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni as his successor. She has vowed to pursue the peace process if elected prime minister.