October 16, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Israel's Defense Ministry on Tuesday denied a Palestinian report alleging that Minister Ehud Barak recently met with Palestinian National Authority (PNA) President Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan.

"Defense Minister Barak has met with the Palestinian Authority president a number of times in the past few years, as he's met with other regional leaders," a statement sent to Xinhua read.

However, "Not every meeting is meant to be publicized, and it's better that way," the response to a query went on, noting that, " the Minister did not meet with Abu Mazen last Thursday and not in the last few weeks," using Abbas' nom de guerre.

Jordanian King Abdullah II also participated in Thursday's meeting in Amman, the report alleged, which reputedly focused on efforts to resume peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and their plans to seek state recognition through the United Nations.

Israel and the United States, the sponsor of the peace process that has stalled since 2010, oppose the Palestinian approach to the UN as a unilateral step. This time, the Palestinians are seeking an upgrade to non-member state in the international body.

Barak briefed Abbas on his initiative that envisages a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank, according to the earlier report, while Abbas reiterated his position against any plan envisioning a Palestine state with provisional boundaries.


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