A government spokesman told reporters Tuesday afternoon that “fundamental issues” were discussed at the meeting between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Tuesday’s talks were a follow-up to a meeting that took place between the two men three weeks ago in the PA-controlled town of Jericho.
Although Abbas expressed a “hope and wish for the peace between us to move forward and for both peoples, Israelis and Palestinians, to see the peace we are striving for,” when he signed into the Prime Minister’s guest book at the beginning of the meeting, his words to the Arabic media were very different.
In what appeared to be a threat to boycott the international Middle East summit scheduled for November, Abbas warned Monday that Olmert’s announcement that Tuesday’s talks would be aimed at developing an “agreement of principles” prior to the summit, was not enough.
Abbas told Voice of Palestine radio, “If there is a clear framework including final status issues, we will welcome this and go to the conference.” He added, however, that the summit would be a ‘waste of time” if it focused its discussions solely on a “declaration of principles.” Another Olmert-Abbas meeting is expected to take place prior to the Rosh Hashana holiday.