Israeli and Palestinian Authority peace negotiators held a final round of talks ahead of President Bush’s visit.
Negotiating teams led by Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and former P.A. Prime Minister Ahmed Queria met Monday in Jerusalem to discuss a framework in which to tackle “core” conflict issues – the status of Jerusalem, delineating borders and where to settle Palestinian refugees.
The talks signaled a desire by both sides to shift gears in negotiations launched by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas at November’s international conference hosted by the U.S. president in Annapolis, Md.
Bush, who will make his first presidential visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday, has said he would like to settle on the outline for a peace deal before he leaves office in January 2009.
Olmert and Abbas are scheduled to meet Tuesday in hope of reaching some agreement on what might emerge from the Bush visit.