Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is set to meet US President Barack Obama next week ahead of the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York.
According to Palestinian officials, the September 23 meeting between the two will focus on the US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians which resumed in late July after more than three years of stalled talks, which fell through in 2010.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he is scheduled to meet the US president at the end of this month, ahead of his scheduled address at the UN General Assembly, to discuss the Iranian nuclear program. The meeting is expected on September 30.
“In a week and a half, I will go to the United Nations General Assembly, and before that I will meet with President Obama. I intend to focus on stopping Iranian nuclear program. Really stopping the nuclear program,” Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting Tuesday.
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have been holding talks since July, largely in secret, following marathon efforts by US Secretary of State John Kerry who had traveled to the region no less than six times to get the sides back to the negotiating table.
In August, Israel released the first 26 of 104 Palestinian prisoners as a confidence-building gesture to Abbas ahead of the second round of negotiations which took place later that month.