Archive for Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Israel, Palestinians disagree on summit

February 14, 2007

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— Palestinian and Israeli officials disagreed sharply Tuesday on whether next week's Mideast summit with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice should help relaunch peace talks, dimming hopes the session will produce results.

Israel will not talk about issues of substance until it learns more about the power-sharing deal reached last week between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamic militant Hamas, said government spokeswoman Miri Eisin.

Israel's prime minister, defense minister and foreign minister met Tuesday evening to discuss the summit, Army Radio reported, but no decisions were announced.

The agreement falls short of international demands that a new Palestinian government, a coalition of Hamas and Abbas' Fatah movement, explicitly recognize Israel's right to exist.

Abbas has been trying to market the vaguely worded deal as the only way to co-opt Hamas, end deadly Palestinian infighting and renew peace talks with Israel.

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