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Olmert: Annapolis summit set for end of November
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09:01, November 07, 2007

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Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced Tuesday that the U.S.-host Mideast peace conference in Annapolis will take place in the last week of November.

Olmert made the announcement to reporters after meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem.

However, he noted that formal invitations have yet to be sent out and Israel is interested in Syria's participation at the Annapolis conference.

"We believe that Syria's participation is the right thing. I hope that if the process with the Palestinians will succeed then it will encourage a similar process with Syria," Olmert said.

The Israeli premier reiterated that negotiations with the Palestinians on the core issues will begin after the conference and that every concrete move will follow the Road Map plan on Mideast peace.

"Both sides are committed to a number of steps," Olmert said, adding "we are prepared to fulfill our commitments in order to move forward."

Earlier, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel is going to seek important agreements that would require the Palestinians to implement the first stage of the road map.

"This includes dismantling all terrorist organizations and terror camps extends to Gaza as well," the website of local daily Jerusalem Post quoted him as saying.

In July, U.S. President George W. Bush proposed to hold an international conference this fall to include Israel, the Palestinian National Authority and some of their Arab neighbors to help restart Mideast peace talks and review progress in building democratic institutions.

Source: Xinhua

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