Olmert, Abbas meeting Monday


Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas will meet Monday.

The Israeli prime minister and Palestinian Authority president have held frequent talks ahead of an upcoming U.S.-sponsored peace conference.

Rosh Hashanah is Wednesday night. Israeli officials generally suspend work over the High Holy Days.

President Bush plans to bring together Olmert, Abbas and other Middle East notables for a conference on Palestinian statehood in the fall. Diplomats say it will likely take place in the Washington area in November.

The Israeli and Palestinian Authority leaders have been trying to agree on a basis for reviving peace talks ahead of the conference, though disagreements remain.

Abbas’ prime minister, Salam Fayyad, called Saturday for the conference to produce clear Israeli commitments on issues such as the borders of a future Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees.

“We don’t see the benefit of convening a conference without securing conditions for its success for all parties, foremost being the Palestinians,” Fayyad said at an economic conference in Ramallah.

Olmert has balked at making such undertakings given Israeli concern that Abbas is too weak to deliver security in the wake of his schism with Hamas Islamists.

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