Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet next week Palestinian premier Salam Fayyad, Israeli and Palestinian officials said on Wednesday.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu will meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad next week,” the Israeli premier’s spokesman Ofir Gendelman said in a statement posted on his official Twitter feed.
Palestinian officials confirmed the meeting and said Fayyad would hand Netanyahu a letter from Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas about the stalled peace process.
“Next week, a Palestinian delegation will take a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” Nimr Hammad, an advisor to Abbas told AFP on Wednesday.
He said Fayyad would be joined by senior Palestinian official Yasser Abed Rabbo and negotiator Saeb Erakat.
Gendelman said that Netanyahu would send his own letter to Abbas after the talks next week.
“Prime minister’s envoy (Yitzhak) Molcho will deliver a letter from the prime minister to president Abbas following the meeting,” he wrote.
Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been on hold since September 2010, but Jordan and the peacemaking Quartet sponsored several rounds of meetings between envoys from each sides in January.
Those talks, held in Amman, were intended to pave the way back to direct negotiations, but ended without agreement on how they might resume.
With the process stalled, Abbas has reportedly prepared a letter restating Palestinian terms for returning to negotiations and warning that the status quo risks rendering the Palestinian Authority useless.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Tuesday that the letter would not include any threats by Abbas to dismantle the Palestinian Authority, as had previously been reported.
But on Monday, the Palestinian leader said his message would contain a warning for the Israeli leader.
“You have made the Palestinian Authority a non-Authority. You have taken from it all its specializations and commitments,” he said in Cairo, quoting from the letter.
Israel says it wants to return to the talks without preconditions, but the Palestinians want clear parameters for discussions and an Israeli settlement freeze before they resume negotiations.