Sharon-Abbas summit delayed over troop, prisoner disputes

WORKING DIGEST

World Digest

October 11, 2005|By CHICAGO TRIBUNE

JERUSALEM -- A first meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas since Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip was postponed yesterday because of disagreements over troop pullbacks in the West Bank and the release of Palestinian prisoners.

The delay of the summit at least until the end of the month indicated that despite hopes that the Gaza withdrawal would help revive peace efforts, Israel and the Palestinians remain deadlocked even over confidence-building measures.

The summit was to have been held today, in advance of a planned visit to Washington by Abbas on Oct. 20. But persistent disagreements in preparatory talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials led to the postponement.

In a joint statement, both sides said they would meet in committees to try to bridge their differences.

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