Dennis Ross in Israel for secret talks 15Dec10 December 16, 2010

Ma’an News Agency -  15 December 2010

Veteran US diplomat Dennis Ross arrived in Israel Tuesday evening and is scheduled to hold talks with Israeli security officials, Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday.

Ross, a prominent US policy maker, was allegedly sent by US president Barak Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to check out what security coordination would be necessary if a final peace agreement was reached in the region.

The report came the day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to a US request to re-launch indirect peace talks with a focus on final-status issues including borders, security, refugees and Jerusalem. The Palestinian president, faced with the same request, set off for Cairo for meetings with Arab leaders to discuss the issue.

Ross is scheduled, according to Yedioth, to hold a series of meetings with Israeli army’s chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi, director of Israel’s General Security Service (SHABAK) Yoval Diskin and other high-profile security commanders.

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