Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas will hold talks with Israeli vice prime minister Shaul Mofaz on Sunday, a senior Palestinian official told Voice of Palestine radio on Wednesday.
“President Abbas will meet with Mofaz on Sunday in Ramallah at Mofaz’s request,” negotiator Mohammad Eshtayeh told the official radio station.
It will be the highest-level meeting between Israeli and Palestinian officials since May 12, when Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molcho met Abbas to deliver a letter from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
A spokesman for Mofaz declined to confirm or deny the report. The Palestinians’ official news agency WAFA initially carried quotes from Abbas adviser Nimr Hammad confirming the Sunday meeting, but later changed the story, saying it was unconfirmed.
Eshtayeh told Voice of Palestine that the meeting was a standard part of Abbas’s dialogue with various parties.
“Such a meeting is nothing new and comes in the framework of president Abbas’s meetings with a full spectrum of actors in the Israeli and Jewish communities,” he said.
“President Abbas will listen to Mofaz’s ideas, but we do not think that he will present political ideas that we can work with,” he said.
“We do not count much on such meetings nor believe that the Israeli government as currently composed can offer anything serious on the peace process.”