''We don't expect any results,'' a senior Abbas aide said before the meeting began at Olmert's Jerusalem residence.
Olmert has vowed to boycott the unity government Abbas is forming with Hamas Islamists unless it recognises Israel, renounces violence and accepts existing interim peace deals as demanded by the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia.
But the Israeli leader has promised publicly to keep a channel of communication open with Abbas, a policy promoted by the United States, which plans to send Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice back to the region in the next few weeks.
Olmert and Abbas last met on February 19 in trilateral talks with Rice that ended with no sign of progress towards resuming peace talks on Palestinian statehood broken off six years ago.
The Saudi-brokered Palestinian coalition agreement, which calmed weeks of warfare between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah faction, contains a vague promise to ''respect'' previous Israeli-Palestinian accords.
But it does not commit the incoming government to abide by those pacts, nor to accept international conditions key to resumption of aid to the Palestinian Authority cut off by the West after Hamas came to power a year ago.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas leader, said a government could be announced as early tomorrow.
Despite the unity deal, a Hamas gunman was killed in a clash with Fatah militants in the Gaza Strip, the first such fatality since the agreement was signed in Mecca on February 8.
ARAB LEAGUE In broadcast remarks today, Olmert looked ahead to an Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia at the end of the month and reiterated that Israel saw ''positive elements'' in a Saudi peace initiative adopted by the group in 2002.
Speaking to his cabinet, Olmert said he hoped those elements would be reaffirmed at the Riyadh discussions, a reference to the plan's offer of normal diplomatic relations with Israel.
''We said more than once that the Saudi inititaive is a subject we would be willing to treat seriously,'' he said.
The proposal, however, came with conditions Israel has said it could not accept: withdrawal from all territories captured in the 1967 Middle East war and the return of Palestinian refugees to what is now the Jewish state.
Palestinian officials said changing the plan would not be on the Arab League summit's agenda.
At today's talks, Abbas planned to ask Olmert to view the unity government ''as a positive step'', the presidential aide said. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the group expected Abbas ''not to yield to Israeli and US pressure.'' Abbas was also expected to propose expanding a 4-month-old truce in Gaza to the West Bank. Israeli officials say they would not consider the issue until rocket fire from Gaza ceased. Some Palestinian militants also oppose expanding the truce.
Hamas leaders have offered a long-term truce with Israel in return for a viable Palestinian state. The group continues to say it will not formally recognise Israel and its 1988 founding charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.
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