London, Tel Aviv, Asharq Al-Awsat- Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas (Abu-Mazin) has stated that he has no objection to meeting Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Ramallah, occupied Jerusalem, or anywhere else if there is progress in the indirect negotiations.
He added in a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat: “We are ready to move to direct negotiations if we receive positive answers from Netanyahu on the issues of borders and security that are under negotiations.”
Abu-Mazin was talking to Asharq Al-Awsat from the Jordanian capital Amman after arriving in it following his meeting with US Envoy George Mitchell in Ramallah yesterday and was responding to statements by Netanyahu in which he called on Abu-Mazin to visit Jerusalem and expressed his willingness to travel to Ramallah to meet him so as to discuss the means of moving from indirect to direct negotiations for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
In other news, Netanyahu met his hardline Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday in a bid to mend ties after sidelining him in talks aimed at ending a crisis with Turkey.
Israeli Trade Minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had met on Wednesday in Brussels for secret talks, seeking a way out of the feud sparked by a deadly raid on Gaza-bound aid ships.
The talks sparked tensions in Israel as it emerged that Netanyahu gave the go-ahead for the meeting without informing Lieberman.
Lieberman’s office slammed the incident as “an insult to the norms of accepted behaviour and a heavy blow to the confidence between the foreign minister and the prime minister.”
Netanyahu’s office, meanwhile, said the omission was a technical snafu and tried to downplay the significance of the meeting with Lieberman, saying it had been scheduled “a week before and not just to deal with this incident.”
No statements were released after the meeting at Netanyahu’s residence, but officials said the two agreed that failing to inform Lieberman of the meeting was a “mistake” and Netanyahu promised better coordination with Lieberman in the future.