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Netanyahu-Abbas-Obama Trilateral Meeting Possible Next Month

Prime Minister Netanyahu "may meet" with US President Barack Obama and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas next month, according to Israel's envoy to the UN.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 8/26/2009, 10:35 AM

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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "may meet" in trilateral talks next month with U.S. President Barack Obama and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, according to Israel's Ambassador to the U.N., Professor Gabriela Shalev. She said that if the three leaders agree to meet, they will gather at the United Nations when the General Assembly begins its new session.

Shalev mentioned the meeting during a press conference at the U.N., where she also stated, "We are willing to recognize a two-state solution. While we recognize the Arab state, they must recognize our rights - the Jewish nation - to live in our state. It means both should recognize each other."

Shalev spoke  in terms similar to those of Prime Minister Netanyahu during his talks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Netanyahu told reporters in London following the one-hour meeting that change is possible, but that the PA, as well as Israel, must be willing to make compromises.

Meanwhile, the much-anticipated meeting between Israel's prime minister and U.S. Middle East special envoy George Mitchell got underway at mid-morning Wednesday in London.

Netanyahu is scheduled to fly to Germany for day-long talks following the meeting, and then to return to Israel early Friday.

Kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, whose 23rd birthday will be Friday, is expected to be a main topic on the agenda in Germany. German negotiators have been actively involved in assisting Egypt in mediating talks with the Hamas terrorist organization on a prisoner swap deal for Shalit's freedom. The soldier's condition and whereabouts remain unknown.