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Israeli, Palestinian Delegations to Hold Closed-Door Talks in Britain

Israeli and Palestinian delegations have arrived in Britain for two days of secret talks. The Israeli delegation is led by the son of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and the Palestinian team is headed by Yasser Arafat's national security advisor.

The closed-door informal discussions being held here have been confirmed by the Labor Friends of Israel, an organization that works with Britain's governing Labor Party to promote relations with the Jewish state.

The discussions were to be held in secret, until the story was published by Israeli media.

Omri Sharon, the son of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and a Likud Party member of parliament, is expected to hold talks with Jibril Rajub, Yasser Arafat's security advisor.

The discussions are being characterized as unofficial, just days before the December 1 signing of the so-called Geneva initiative, an informal peace pact drawn up by former Israeli and Palestinian politicians and veteran peace negotiators.