Kerry, Abbas to meet in Saudi Arabia


(JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will meet in Saudi Arabia.

A last-minute meeting between Kerry and Abbas was scheduled for Monday afternoon in Riyadh, according to the WAFA Palestinian news agency, citing the PA ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Jamal Shoubaki.

Kerry, who is on his first foreign trip as secretary of state, and Abbas will discuss the PA’s requirements to restart peace negotiations with Israel, Shoubaki told Voice of Palestine radio, according to WAFA. The meeting was conceived last week when Palestinian negotiators Saeb Erekat and Muhammad Shtayyeh met in Washington with Kerry and other Obama administration officials.

Abbas reportedly arrived in Saudi Arabia on Sunday night and planned to meet with the country’s top officials.

Kerry is scheduled to accompany President Obama on his visit to Israel later this month. Along with Saudi Arabia, the secretary of state’s Feb. 24-March 6 trip includes visits to Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

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