Amman, 12 Shawwal 1436/28 July 2015 (MINA) – Israeli Interior Minister Silvan Shalom and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat held a meeting on restarting the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority without informing the United States.
An individual not officially employed by the government of Israel prepared the meeting which took place on Thursday in Amman, Jordan, Haaretz newspaper reported Monday.
Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are said to have approved the meeting. Israel did not inform the United States of any details either prior to the meeting or after it, the newspaper reported.
Senior officials in the European Union, as well as in the Jordanian government, were involved in organizing the talks. Rusian media Sputniknews quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
Fernando Gentilini, the EU special representative for the Middle East peace process, suggested holding the meeting in Brussels. Erekat proposed Amman as a neutral venue for talks.
Shalom and Erekat agreed to report back to Netanyahu and Abbas without a detailed discussion, and to set a next meeting for the near future.
According to Haaretz, Erekat has not told the Palestinian leadership the details of the meeting. Palestinians do not expect any change in Israeli positions, the newspaper reported, citing officials in the Palestinian president’s administration.
Palestinians seek the recognition of their sovereign state on the territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, occupied by Israel in 1967.
Direct talks on the Middle East peace process were suspended in April 2014, after resuming in 2013 with active mediation of the United States. .(T/R03/R04)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)