Picture: (AFP/File/Fethi Belaid)- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, pictured, will meet tomorrow for the first time since Olmert announced he will step down.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas will meet tomorrow for the first time since Olmert announced he will step down.

Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat says “Tomorrow there will be a meeting between president Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert in Jerusalem”.

He says the two men would discuss final-status issues in US-backed peace talks formally re-launched last year, Israeli checkpoints and closures in the occupied West Bank, and the fate of thousands of
Palestinian prisoners.

The two leaders have met roughly twice a month since talks were formally revived at an international conference hosted by US President George W. Bush in November in which they vowed to reach a peace deal by
the end of this year.

The future of the talks is unclear however following Olmert’s surprise announcement earlier this month that he will step down in the wake of several corruption scandals after his Kadima party chooses a
new leader in September.

The United States and the Palestinians have vowed to work with whomever succeeds Olmert, and say they still think a deal is possible by 2009.

MRN-AFP

MRN

Author: MRN Network

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