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Annan Meets with Sharon, Will Meet Abbas Monday

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has arrived in the Middle East for talks on advancing the region's peace process.

Mr. Annan met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Jerusalem Sunday, and plans to travel to the West Bank town of Ramallah on Monday to meet with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.

World leaders have expressed hope for the peace process since last month's Mideast summit, where Mr. Sharon and Mr. Abbas declared an end to four years of violence.

The process hit a snag this week when talks on Israel handing over security control in several West Bank cities ended without agreement.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government says it will dismantle 24 illegal West Bank settler outposts built since Mr. Sharon came to power in March 2001.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.