US Department of State spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, said that Palestinian and Israeli negotiators would hold a direct peace talks next Monday in the Jordanian capital of Amman, Al-Jazeera News Channel Network reported Friday morning. Meanwhile, a Palestinian official stated that arranging a meeting between the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is “premature”.
“We are optimistic regarding sitting down to the negotiation bargaining. They are talking face-to-face.” Nuland told reporters on Thursday, adding that the next round of peace talks is expected to be at the same level as the present one, convened by the Palestinian senior negotiator, Saeb Erekat, and the Israeli negotiator, Yitzhak Molcho.
The first high-level meeting has been held by Palestinians and Israelis since more than a year in Amman under the auspices of the International Quartet for the Middle East, including the European Union, the United States, Russia and the United Nations.
The Palestinian President advisor for political affairs, Nimer Hammad, stated that holding a meeting between the Palestinian President, Abbas, and the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is “premature”, saying that Palestinians are waiting for the Israeli action regarding halting settlement construction on the ground.
In his statement to Palestine State Channel, Hammad expressed hope the Israeli seriousness in carrying out what has been discussed during the meeting as a procedure to building a worth-trusting relationship by the Israeli party, including releasing Palestinian prisoners, removing Israeli checkpoints and moving new areas of the West Bank to be controlled by the Palestinian Authority which are currently under the Israeli authority.
Hammad further stated that the Palestinian negotiator promised the Israeli party to discuss its visions over the Israeli security and borders. Meanwhile, the Israeli negotiator vowed to discuss the Palestinian visions of a Palestinian state seriously.
Press reports stated that Israel submitted –during Erekat and Molcho meeting- 21 principles for the political process assuring the security affairs, including the Israeli permanent presence in the Jordanian Valley without determining a timeframe for negotiations over Jerusalem file.