Last updated: 16 May, 2014

Israel and Palestinians in first meet since talks collapse

Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas and Israel’s chief negotiator Tzipi Livni met in London for the first time since the collapse of their US-sponsored peace talks, Israeli television reported Friday.

A Palestinian official, contacted by AFP, confirmed the meeting between Abbas and Livni, Israel’s justice minister, on Thursday in London.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was informed of the meeting but was angered by it,” according to Israel’s Channel 2 television.

US Secretary of State John Kerry held what were termed informal talks in London this week separately with both Livni and Abbas, who travelled on to Venezuela.

A US official said Kerry gave both sides the same message — that the fate of the talks lies in the hands of the Israelis and Palestinians.

Kerry coaxed the Israelis and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table in July 2013 after a three-year hiatus, and both sides agreed to keep talking for nine months.

But peace efforts derailed even ahead of an April 29 deadline, with Israel and Palestinians trading recriminations and reneging on commitments.