Israeli Vice Prime Minster Shimon Peres said Tuesday that once the
captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is released, the Israeli Prime
Minister, Ehud Olmert, would start talks with the Palestinian
President, Mahmoud Abbas, for talks on the Road Map Plan.
Abbas said that a progress had been made towards reaching a prisoner swap deal for the release of Shalit who was abducted by Palestinian resistance fighters on June 25.
Peres, talking to the Israeli army radio, said that talks between Olmert and Abbas was be resumed after the release of Shalit, and did not condition the resumption of the talks with the release of the two soldiers abducted by Hezbollah fighters.
Officials of both Hamas and Hezbollah said that there should be no connection between the efforts to secure a prisoner swap deal for Shalit, abducted by Palestinian fighters, and the Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, abducted to Lebanon after a Hezbollah border raid on July 12.
“We will open negotiations on the basis of the Road Map Plan”, Peres said, “This is the only document that exists”.
Meanwhile, Abbas aide, Dr, Sa'eb Erekat, said that Abbas should be invited for a summit with Olmert since the two leaders met informally on the sidelines of a Jordan conference after Olmert took power in May.
He added that he believes that Olmert is ready to meet Abbas, but the meeting should be well prepared.