(JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to begin “meaningful negotiations” with the Palestinians.
The announcement came following a meeting in London on Wednesday between Netanyahu and George Mitchell, President Obama’s Middle East peace envoy. The two agreed on the need for progress in Mideast peace talks and for both sides to take practical steps to advance peace, according to reports. Mitchell is due to meet with Israeli officials again next week in the United States.
No formal announcement was made concerning the American demand for an Israeli settlement freeze, an issue that has divided the two countries in recent months. However, various reports suggested that the sides were inching toward an agreement.
Following his meeting on Tuesday with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Netanyahu said the two nations were working on a “bridging formula” that would permit peace talks to go forward.
Following the Mitchell meeting, Netanyahu departed for Germany, where he will meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel.