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Olmert, Abbas to form declaration of principles by November

By Ronny Sofer, Ynet , 28.8.07

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday revolved around the core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, Ynet has learnt.
The two, who met at the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem, discussed some of the more sensitive issues, such as the status of Jerusalem and the possible borders of the future Palestinian state.
Olmert and Abbas decided to hold at least two more meetings before October, in an effort to come to an understanding about all core issues before presenting a declaration of principles to the international peace conference scheduled to take place in Washington this November.
The next meeting between the two was scheduled for a few days before Rosh Hashanah.
Israel and the Palestinians also agreed that a professional team, including the prime minister's chief of staff Yoram Turbowitz and diplomatic adviser Shalom Turgeman, would be formed to create the declaration of principles.
A senior political source in the Prime Minister's Office made it clear that is was too soon to tell if such an agreement would find its way to the Washington conference, stressing Israel's ultimate goal is to create a two-state solution in accordance with the road map.
The source denied al-Jazeera's Tuesday report that said Olmert and Abbas discussed the final draft of an agreement addressing the Palestinian-Israeli core issues.
"There is a big difference between an agreement and an early, general concept... at this point no agreement has been reached and the discussions are ongoing."
Finding ways to cooperate
Another issue discussed by Olmert and Abbas was the Philadelphi Route – along the border between Gaza Strip and Egypt – and the need to call a quadruple meeting, including Israel, the PA, the United States and Egypt, in order to find an acceptable solution to the ongoing weapons smuggling through Philadelphi into Gaza. 
Cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces was also discussed. Both side expressed their satisfaction of the progress made in the prisoners' amnesty deal: some 150 of the 180 Palestinian prisoners have surrendered their weapons to the PA after being removed from the IDF's wanted lists.
Olmert and Abbas also agreed to further study the Dayton plan, calling for the continued rearmament of the Palestinian Authority.
The two agreed ministers from both side must continue meeting on a regular basis and discussed the Israeli-Palestinian business conference scheduled for October. Both Olmert and Abbas are to attend the conference, where they will be joined by the Quartet's Middle East envoy Tony Blair and some 100 businessmen, Israeli and Palestinian.
Meanwhile, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat, held a press conference in Ramallah, and negated the possibility of the Palestinians agreeing to any temporary solution.
According to Erakat, the talks between Olmert and Abbas may have been serious, but did not address any of the final details. 
As for the international peace conference, Erakat said that "as far as I knew, no one has received an invitation." The Palestinians, he added, would like to see more Arab nations take part in it.
"We want Syria, Lebanon and all other Arab parties to take part in the conference… we will not allow the negotiating channels to be separated."