Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday promised to free 250 Palestinian prisoners, a goodwill gesture to the Palestinian president at a summit overshadowed by ongoing violence in Gaza Strip that threatens a calm. The pair met in Jerusalem for the first time in two months.
"Abbas had asked him to free Palestinian prisoners and Olmert told him of the decision to release 250 at the beginning of December," Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said. The planned prisoner release is meant to coincide with a Muslim holiday next month, and all of the prisoners will come from Abbas' Fatah movement, Israeli officials said, according to the AP.
Abbas also met British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who said it was "vital" the calm be maintained. "The discussions you have had today (with Olmert) seem to me to be a very important contribution to that," Miliband told the Palestinian leader, according to AFP.