With impending trips to the region by US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, the Palestinian Authority announced Sunday that two high-ranking officials would fly to Washington to update the administration about the PA’s stance regarding negotiations with Israel.
Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and Mohammed Eshtaya, a member of the PA’s negotiating team, will meet with Kerry, who took office earlier this month, and present him with the Palestinian conditions to resume negotiations with Israel: an end to construction in Jewish settlements, and the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.
Obama is scheduled to arrive in Israel on March 20 for a three-day work trip, during which he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss regional matters, including stopping Iran’s nuclear program, the stalled peace process, and the situation in Syria.
Earlier in February, Netanyahu’s special envoy to negotiations with the Palestinians, Yitzhak Molcho, and National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror flew to Washington and met with administration officials to lay the groundwork for the trip. The two held talks about both the technical and the substantial aspects of Obama’s upcoming visit.