US Secretary of State John Kerry
US Secretary of State John Kerry Israel news photo: Flash 90

Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat will meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday afternoon, said a spokesman for the PLO mission in Washington, according to Politico.

The spokesman said that Erekat is expected to meet Kerry at the State Department at about 3:00 P.M. Thursday, as the second-term Obama administration seeks to restart the long-halted Mideast peace negotiations.

The State Department said in a statement earlier Wednesday that Erekat was expected to meet with U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace David Hale and that "other meetings may also be arranged," but did not elaborate.

The State Department's daily official public schedule of meetings for Thursday, released Wednesday evening, did not list any events with Hale or Erekat. The only specific event on the public roster for Kerry is a 2:45 P.M. meeting with India's foreign minister, according to Politico.

Kerry departs Sunday on his first trip abroad as secretary of state, but will not be meeting with Israeli or Palestinian leaders.  He is expected to join Obama on his trip to Israel and Jordan beginning March 20.

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