, RAMALLAH, Aug 20 – Palestinian leaders, headed by president Mahmud Abbas, were to discuss on Friday evening the expected call from the Middle East Quartet to renew direct talks with Israel, negotiator Saeb Erakat said.
The executive committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation was set to meet at 8:00 pm (1700 GMT) to examine the anticipated invitation to restart the face-to-face negotiations that collapsed 20 months ago, Erakat told AFP.
"It is premature to announce a Palestinian position" before the gathering of the PLO\’s top executive body, he said.
Palestinian sources expect the Quartet — which comprises the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations — to issue a statement at 1300 GMT.
It should be followed immediately by a US invitation for Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to travel to the United States on September 1 and 2 for the restart of the talks, the sources said. The timings and dates have not been confirmed officially.
In Israel, the foreign ministry and the prime minister\’s office would not comment immediately.