Israeli PM wants nonstop talks with Palestinians

Netanyahu wants continuous talks with Abbas till they reach a peace deal.

Updated: Jan 02, 2011, 20:31 PM IST

Jerusalem: Israel`s prime minister says he`s ready to sit down with the Palestinian president for continuous one-on-one talks until they reach a peace deal.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued his statement on Sunday in an apparent bid to breathe life into stalled Mideast peace making. Talks broke down three months ago.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says Israel must halt all settlement construction before talks can resume. Netanyahu has refused, but says he is ready to discuss all issues with Abbas.

On Sunday, Abbas said he believed a peace deal could be reached within two months if Israel is serious.

In response, Netanyahu said he is ready to sit with Abbas "until white smoke rises" — an allusion to the Vatican`s custom when top Catholic Church officials decide on a new pope.

Bureau Report