Last updated: 17 September, 2013

Abbas to meet Obama on September 23

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is to meet US President Barack Obama next week, ahead of the opening of the UN General Assembly, Palestinian sources said on Tuesday.

At their September 23 meeting, the two men will discuss peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel, which resumed earlier this year after a three year hiatus, the sources said.

The announcement came hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would meet Obama on September 30 for talks on Iran’s nuclear programme, the negotiations with the Palestinians and other regional issues.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have been holding talks in secret since August after marathon efforts by US Secretary of State John Kerry brought them back to the table. The last round of direct talks between the two sides collapsed in September 2010.

Abbas won a diplomatic victory less than a year ago when on November 29 the United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority to that of a “non-member observer state” despite US and Israeli objections.