Israeli political sources stated on Monday that the Monday meeting between Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, managed to achieve a progress on security related arrangements and borders issues. The sources added that the two leaders discussed issued regarding the borders of the future Palestinian state and security arrangements. According to the same sources, negotiations teams on both sides were instructed to advance in these issues.

During the talks, Olmert vowed to inform Abbas and coordinate with him any steps regarding a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Yet, no progress was made on core issues such as the issue of Jerusalem and the Right of Return of the Palestinian Refugees.

It is worth mentioning that Egypt’s Security Chief, Omar Suleiman, will arrive in the country next week in order to present the outcome of his talks with Hamas.

The Abbas-Olmert meeting came on a few hours after the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice concluded a visit to the region.

Prior to her departure, Rice said that the Israeli and Palestinian sides are interested in achieving a progress on the main issues before the end of this year.

The Ministerial Cabinet of the Israel government is slated to meet after Suleiman’s visit in order to discuss the outcome of his talks with Hamas and will submit and official response later on following a special cabinet meeting.

Hamas movement demands that the issue of border crossings in the Gaza Strip should be part of a ceasefire agreement.

Abbas to meet Olmert on Monday

IMEMC Staff, Monday May 05, 2008 – 11:16

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday for talks over the ongoing peace negotiations.Israeli radio announced that prior to the Abbas-Olmert meeting, the Israeli Primer will meet with U.S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to evaluate the outcome of her visit to the region.

Rice arrived in Israel on Saturday. Over the weekend she meet with both Palestinian and Israeli officials, including Olmert and Abbas.

She extended her visit to Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories to conduct more meetings in Jerusalem in order to push for a commitment from Israel to remove road blocks and freeze settlement activity in the West Bank.

During Rice's meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the U.S Secretary of State demanded an easing of movement restrictions for Palestinians living in the West Bank.

Translated by Ghassan Bannoura – IMEMC News Room.