Benjamin Netanyahu to fly to US for talks on peace process

Israeli PM said he will fly to the US to meet top US officials including Vice Prez Joe Biden.

Updated: Oct 31, 2010, 17:42 PM IST

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he will fly to the United States on November 7 to meet top US officials including Vice President Joe Biden on reviving peace talks.

"Next Sunday, I shall leave for the annual assembly of Jewish communities in the United States," Netanyahu told reporters at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, referring to a November 7-9 summit in New Orleans.

"I shall meet there with Vice President Biden and other senior administration officials and I shall discuss with them a range of issues, including, of course, a renewal of the peace process with the aim of reaching an agreement on peace with security for the state of Israel," he said.

Israel and the Palestinians began direct peace negotiations in September but within weeks the talks ran aground after the expiry of a 10-month moratorium on settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

Netanyahu has steadfastly refused to reimpose the ban, while Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has declined to talk while Israel builds on land he wants for a future state, prompting intense US efforts to resolve the deadlock.

The visit is to take place just days after Tuesday`s midterm elections, whose outcome is likely to have a bearing on the Obama administration`s engagement with the Middle East peace process.

Bureau Report