JERUSALEM, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Israeli chief negotiator Tzipi Livni met with her Palestinian counterpart Saeb Erekat in Jerusalem Tuesday for the second time in the day, after having convened in the morning, Israeli media reported, quoting Palestinian officials.
It should be noted that no official announcement was carried out by the Israeli Prime Minister's Office, which refused to comment on the reports.
The first meeting took place at the King David Hotel on Tuesday morning, Israeli officials told the Ha'aretz daily.
Parties then met for a second time in the evening, starting from around 8:00 p.m. local time (GMT 1800), reportedly attended by the U.S. envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Martin Indyk, at an undisclosed location in Jerusalem.
Livni and Erekat met last Tuesday in Jerusalem, for a five-hour meeting, the Times of Israel website reported. The talks were being held under secrecy, without photo-ops, press releases or written statements.
A reason for the secrecy may be the desire to calm down critics on both ends, as tensions rose high over Israel's stated intent to build more than 1,500 new housing units in the West Bank recently.
U.S. officials have repeatedly urged both parties to stay on track and continue the negotiations, which started in Washington on July 30, after a three-year halt due to Israel's construction in the settlements.
On Monday, Army Radio reported that Indyk had urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to keep the negotiations on course despite Israel's settlement activity.
RAMALLAH, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday called for an effective U.S. involvement in the direct peace talks with Israel.
Abbas made the appeal during his meeting with Martin Indyk, the U.S. peace envoy who was elected recently as Washington managed to resume the long-stalled negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians last month. Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- A senior UN official on Tuesday said a new round of talks between the Israelis and Palestinians was a "small but important opening" for peace and could have a positive impact on regional stability.
"We have now reached a decisive point. The test will be for both sides to go the distance and not disappoint their people," Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, assistant secretary-general for political affairs, told the Security Council at a meeting on the situation in the Middle East. Full story