Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, invited the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, to visit Jerusalem and hold direct talks with him.Netanyahu also said that he is willing to visit Ramallah to hold talks with Abbas.

The statements of the Israeli Prime Minister came after concluding his meeting with U.S. Middle East Peace Envoy, George Mitchell.

Regarding his meeting next week with U.S. President, Barack Obama, in Washington, Netanyahu stated that the meeting will focus on the efforts to initiate direct talks with the Palestinians, and said that this is the only way to achieve a political settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Yet Netanyahu and his fundamentalist coalition partners reject any talks on Jerusalem and insist on the construction and expansion of Jewish settlements.

Some local political analysts said that this invitation is another Israeli maneuver aiming at showing the United States and the international community that relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are normal and that international pressure to advance Middle East talks is unnecessary.