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Abbas, Olmert look into way of launching final negotiations: PLO official
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19:13, October 03, 2007

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A senior Palestinian official revealed on Wednesday that President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert began their fresh summit in the noon to look into a way of launching final negotiations.

PLO executive member Yasser Abed Rabou told Voice of Palestine radio that "today's meeting will look into the way of launching final negotiations in preparation for the coming peace conference, " referring to a U.S.-hosted Middle East conference slated for November.

The Abbas-Olmert summit meeting was being holding in the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem where mutual negotiation teams will also meet for the first time.

The Palestinian negotiation team, led by former premier Ahmed Qurea, includes Abed Rabou and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Abed Rabou noted that the Wednesday meeting will discuss a joint declaration of principles to be put forward before the November conference.

"Today we will put the mechanism of talks to, hopefully, reach the declaration before November," he added.

Zakarai al-Agha, a member of the PLO executive committee, told reporters in Gaza that the committee agreed with President Abbas to put any proposal for final solution before the PLO before presenting it to Israel.

Confirming no offer has been showed to the PLO, al-Agha, however, said that he doubts "any success by the two sides to reach a deal before the U.S.-sponsored conference" and "we don't rely so much on that gathering."

Meanwhile, the Islamic Jihad (Holy War) vowed to continue attacks against Israel "even if Mahmoud Abbas struck a deal with the Jewish state."

Khaled al-Batsh, an Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza, said that the November conference "aims at gathering Arab support for a war against Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and a large Israeli offensive into the Gaza Strip."

As Islamic Hamas movement, which administrates the Gaza Strip, seeks a mutual ceasefire with Israel, al-Batsh reiterated that his movement rejects the idea of mutual calm down.

Source: Xinhua

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