Israeli, Palestinian leaders meet in secret

Ramallah: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has secretly met Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak in Jordan in the presence of Jordan's King Abdullah II, Xinhua reported on Monday.

A Palestinian source said the meeting held in Amman last week focused on efforts to resume peace talks between Israel and Palestine and their plans to seek a state recognition through the UN.

Israel and the US, the sponsor of the peace process that has stalled since 2010, oppose the Palestinian approach to the UN as a unilateral step. This time, the Palestinians seek an upgrade to a non-member state in the international organisation.

The source told Xinhua that Barak, also the head of the Labor Party, briefed Abbas on his initiative that envisages a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank.

Abbas reiterated his position against any plan envisioning a Palestine state with provisional boundaries.

Abbas did not meet any other member of the Israeli government.