Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Set to Start OffWorld | August 31, 2010, Tuesday // 12:23| views
King Abdullah II of Jordan (L) holding talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (R) in Cairo earlier in August in preparation of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are set to start Wednesday in Washington.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu already departed for Washington, it was reported Tuesday.
Wednesday he will have a dinner at the White House together with Abbas, the President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak and the King of Jordan Abdullah II. Thursday Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to officially announce the start of peace talks.
Among the uncleared and extremely contentious issues that will be coming up is the building of Israeli settlements on the West Bank. Netanyahu has failed to commit to a stopping of settlement, something that Abbas sees as a precondition for the achievement of any agreement.
Another difficult issue is whether Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and is in tense relations with Abbas, will recognize the results of negotiations. This far Hamas representatives have not been invited, although given the internal divisions in the Palestinian Authority some consider that Abbas cannot be effectively representative of all Palestinians.
Meanwhile, Israeli media have reported that Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak has already met Palestinian President Abbas in an unofficial setting in a private home in Jordan's capital Amman to prepare upcoming negotiations.
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