Abbas, Olmert to meet as reports on secret talks denied
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will shortly meet Palestinian president Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Olmert's office said Tuesday, a day after sources close to the Israeli leader said that the two had been conducting secret talks.
"There will be a meeting very soon between Olmert and Abbas," Olmert spokeswoman Miri Eisin said Tuesday, according to Haaretz.
A senior Palestinian official said that no date had been set for a new round of talks, but that there was no opposition to such a summit. "In principle we are not against any meeting," said Saeb Erekat. "We haven't agreed on a date."
Olmert in conversations with ministers and other political figures recently, has hinted that he and Abbas have been holding talks. According to the newspaper, the secret talks appear to be about state affairs.
Erekat earlier Tuesday denied that the two leaders are conducting any secret talks, rejecting the claims as "baseless." "It's baseless. There is no such thing," he said.
Hassan Asfour, a Palestinian negotiator close to Abbas also said: "I confirm there are no secret talks and no back channel talks."
Eisin also denied the existence of the talks Tuesday. "I don't know anything about back channel talks," she said.