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Palestine President Abbas open to meeting with Netanyahu

Palestinian officials say President Mahmoud Abbas is open to a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations next month. The meeting would be the first between the two leaders since Netanyahu took office in March.

world Updated: Aug 26, 2009 17:24 IST

Palestinian officials say President Mahmoud Abbas is open to a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations next month. The meeting would be the first between the two leaders since Netanyahu took office in March.

Abbas has refused to reopen peace talks until Netanyahu halts all construction in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The Israeli leader rejects this demand.

The Palestinian officials say Abbas is not dropping his conditions. They say the meeting would be a chance to talk, but would not amount to negotiations.

Netanyahu said in London on Wednesday that he hopes peace talks can restart soon.

The Palestinian officials spoke on condition of anonymity because a formal meeting hasn't been set.