Israel's president-elect Reuven Rivlin, who opposes the creation of a Palestinian state, has said he is willing to meet Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas, a newspaper reported Thursday.
"I met with Abu Mazen (Abbas) in the past on a number of occasions and I will also meet with him in the future," the Yediot Aharonot newspaper quoted Rivlin as saying.
"We both realize that direct dialogue is the condition for our Middle East to be a safe place," he said on Wednesday at the three-day Jewish Media Summit in Jerusalem.
Rivlin said he received a letter from Abbas after he was elected on June 10 to succeed Shimon Peres, whose term ends in late July.
Yediot published what it said was an image of the letter, in Arabic, which congratulated Rivlin and also called for a peace agreement and an independent Palestinian state.
The incoming president has never hidden his opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state.
Rivlin was quoted in 2010 as saying he would "rather accept Palestinians as Israeli citizens than divide Israel and the West Bank in a future two-state peace solution."