Barak in talks with Fayyad

JERUSALEM - Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak yesterday held a rare meeting with Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad at a hotel in Jerusalem, officials said.

JERUSALEM - Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak yesterday held a rare meeting with Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad at a hotel in Jerusalem, officials said.

The two were meeting on the eve of talks between Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama at the White House.

Palestinians officials insisted the two would not discuss any issues related to the ongoing indirect peace talks.

Barak said the talks were likely to focus on security coordination and "the situation on the ground" in remarks to reporters tomorrow, while Fayyad's office said he would demand that Israel end the blockade on Gaza and halt incursions into West Bank cities.

Meanwhile, Turkey ratcheted up tension with Israel yesterday, warning it will sever ties unless Ankara gets an apology for the raid on an aid convoy to Gaza but the Jewish state said it would never say sorry for defending itself. - Sapa-AFP

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