New Israel, Palestinian finance ministers in first talks

AFP , Sunday 16 Jun 2013

Israeli and Palestinian finance ministers meet on fuel, power and water issues

The Israeli and Palestinian finance ministers were meeting on Sunday for talks aimed at resuming economic contacts suspended by Israel last year, both sides said.

The meeting between newly-appointed Palestinian minister Shukri Bishara and Israel's Yair Lapid, who took office in March, was scheduled for 3.00 pm (1200 GMT), the Palestinian finance ministry said.

Both sides said that the initial aim was to relaunch regular meetings on technical issues such as crossing points; fuel, power and water supplies to the Palestinians; and payment for treatment of Palestinians in Israeli hospitals.

Israel halted the meetings in November, after the United Nations General Assembly upgraded the Palestinians' status over stiff objections from both Israel and the United States.

A statement from Lapid's office said that Sunday's meeting was taking place "in coordination" with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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