Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Jericho. He voiced hopes that their talks would lead to negotiations on the creation of a Palestinian state. After months of resistance, Olmert agreed to expand the scope of the talks with Abbas to include “fundamental issues” that are key to creating a state and ending the conflict. Deposed Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh expressed his opposition to the talks, saying:“We think there is no political profit from these meetings, and the Israeli red lines are still in front of our eyes. Stabilization and returning the unity of the Palestinian people are the main elements to discuss.” Both Olmert and Abbas face major difficulties at home on the way to any agreement. It’s the first time an Israeli prime minister has met a Palestinian counterpart in a West Bank town since the year 2000.
Israeli PM and Abbas meet in Jericho