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PNA confirms Abbas-Olmert meeting to hold next Monday
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10:24, April 06, 2008

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A Palestinian negotiator on Saturday confirmed that President Mahmoud Abbas will meet Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert on Monday.

Peace talks, expansion of Israeli settlements in West Bank and the Israeli closure on Gaza Strip are the key issues that the two men are scheduled to discuss, according to the negotiator SaebErekat.

Erekat explained that the settlement activities violate "Israel' s commitments under the first phase" of the U.S.-backed Road Mappeace plan which calls for immediate suspension of the settlements' expansion.

Israel and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) revived the negotiations at a U.S.-hosted conference in November. However, the settlement's issue, in addition to military escalation between the two sides, negatively affected the progress of the peace process. The upcoming meeting will be the first since Abbas suspended his biweekly meetings with Olmert in early March in protest of adeadly Israeli army operation in Gaza Strip which is ruled by Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).

Meanwhile, a U.S. envoy, following up implementation of the Road Map's first phase commitments, is expected to arrive in the region ahead of Abbas-Olmert meeting, Palestinian radio reported. The radio added that the U.S. General William Fraser would inspect measures decided by Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak to ease the daily life of the West Bank residents. But Erekat said that Barak's statements were "material for public relations and media," denying that Israel had removed some roadblocks in the West Bank.

Source: Xinhua

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