The first official meeting has taken place between the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. It came during a breakfast in Petra in Jordan, hosted by King Abdullah. It was the first meeting between the two since Olmert assumed office in January. Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres stressed that the meeting was informal.
He said: “This is not yet the beginning of the negotiations because the negotiations must be carefully planned, on the timing, on the location, and, the most important point, about the conclusions; because if they meet and nothing comes out, it could be a disappointment.” Olmert has pledged to hold a formal meeting with Abbas to explore a possible resumption of stalled peace talks, but has set no date.