Israel and the Palestinian Authority(PA) on Sunday accepted an invitation for a trilateral meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama later this week to lay the groundwork for renewed negotiations on Mideast peace.
Mr. Obama will host the meeting on Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The three-way meeting, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, will take place immediately after Mr. Obama meets separately with each of the two leaders. It comes shortly after U.S. Special Envoy George Mitchell failed to bridge wide gaps between Israelis and Palestinians during a visit to the region last week.
The main disputes are over Israeli settlements in the West Bank and whether peace talks should begin where they left off under Mr. Netanyahu's predecessors.
A statement from Mr. Netanyahu's office said the Israeli premier "warmly accepts the invitation."
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat confirmed Mr. Abbas would attend the meeting and said he hopes the meeting will renew talks.
The Palestinian leader held talks with Netanyahu's predecessor, Ehud Olmert, for over a year without achieving an agreement.
Mr. Abbas is locked in a power struggle with the Islamic militant group Hamas, which overran the Gaza Strip in 2007, leaving him only in control of the West Bank. Hamas has used lack of progress in negotiations to try to discredit Mr. Abbas.
The two sides meet on a regular basis until December when Israel launched a military offensive in Gaza aimed at stopping militants from firing rockets on southern Israel.