Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that it was necessary to hold a meeting with Israeli Minister Ariel Sharon to push forward the peace process.

‘We need a meeting to push the peace process forward and to discuss the implementation of the agreements held between us, and to talk about the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza,’ Abbas told reporters.

Next week, Sharon’s top advisor Dov Weissglas is due to meet with PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat to discuss the implementation of the Sharm summit decisions.

Abbas and Sharon, in a meeting in Egyptian resort Sharm Al-Sheikh, in February, agreed to implement a series of mutual steps to calm down the conflict and revive the staled peace process.  

Also, the joint PA-Israel committee on prisoners’ issues will meet on Sunday to discuss the criteria for the release of 400 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons.

The PA demands an ease on the criteria of the release, but Israel is likely to stick to the standing criteria, which prohibits the release of any prisoner with ‘blood on the hand’