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Israel PM Meeting With US Envoy Postponed

A meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell has been postponed so the two sides have more time to prepare.

The Israeli prime minister was due to meet with Mitchell in Paris, France, Thursday, but an Israeli official said his side is seeking to conduct "more professional work" on the issues before the meeting. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barack is expected to meet Mitchell instead in Washington next week.

Officials close to Mr. Netanyahu denied Israeli media reports that the meeting was called off because of a disagreement over Israeli settlement activity.

The United States has said Israel must halt settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank as part of a comprehensive peace plan.

Israel has resisted the notion, saying some degree of expansion must continue to support the natural growth of settler communities.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.