(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

An Israeli-Palestinian meeting was held this afternoon (Wednesday), 22 December 2004, to discuss the upcoming Palestinian Authority (PA) elections on 9 January 2005.

Representing Israel were Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Special Adviser Dov Weisglass, the Prime Minister’s Diplomatic Adviser Shalom Turgeman, OC Operations Maj.-Gen. Yisrael Tal, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yosef Mishlav, the Deputy Jerusalem Police Commander and additional IDF, Foreign Ministry, Public Security Ministry, Justice Ministry, Communications Ministry and Postal Authority representatives.

Representing the Palestinian side were Saeb Erekat, Jamal Tarifi, representatives of the Central Elections Commission and other officials.

Various issues that require coordination ahead of the PA elections were discussed, according to the parameters of the 1996 elections, including: security coordination ahead of and during the voting, the technical assistance required by candidates, the issue of international observers and the issue of voting by residents of eastern Jerusalem.

The meeting was held in a good and substantive atmosphere. It was agreed that additional coordination meetings would be held next week at various echelons in order to continue coordinating the issues that will enable the holding of a transparent, free and fair electoral process.