Israeli, Palestinian envoys to meet Tuesday: official

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 01, 2012 10:53 AM
Israeli, Palestinian envoys to meet Tuesday: official

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian and Israeli negotiators will meet this week after more than a year of deadlocked peacemaking and present their positions on core disputes to foreign mediators, a Palestinian official said on Sunday.

Palestinian delegate Saeb Erekat and Israel's Yitzhak Molcho will meet on Tuesday in Jordan, said Wasl Abu Yossef, a senior figure in the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

"Both sides will offer their positions on security and borders. This is not a resumption of negotiations," he told Reuters, adding that representatives of the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations - the so-called peace Quartet - would also attend.

Israel did not immediately confirm the meeting would take place, but a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the government sought peace talks "without preconditions, any time and in any place."

Negotiations stalled in late 2010 after Israel refused to renew a partial freeze on Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank as demanded by the Palestinians, who want to found a state there as well as in East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has spurned Israel's demand he recognize it as a Jewish state. He drew rebukes from the Netanyahu government by holding power-share talks with the rival Hamas Islamists who rule Gaza.

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta; Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Andrew Heavens)