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Netanyahu, U.S. envoy meet

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Israeli PM, Mitchell huddled on Friday
  • Palestinian leader, Mitchell set to met on Saturday
  • Mitchell has been the go-between in indirect talks

Jerusalem (CNN) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell met Friday to advance direct talks next month with the Palestinians, the prime minister's office said.

Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have not been talking directly.

They have been communicating only through Mitchell, who serves as a go-between for negotiations. Netanyahu has told Israeli Cabinet officials that he is ready to meet with Abbas at any time.

Mitchell is set to meet with Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank, on Saturday. Israeli media outlets were reporting that Abbas is not keen on resuming direct talks.