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Israeli, Palestinian Officials Meet Ahead of Planned Summit

Israeli and Palestinian officials met Friday to discuss the agenda of an upcoming summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Officials on both sides characterized the talks in Tel Aviv as "positive," and said a second preparatory session is planned, possibly for Sunday.

King Abdullah of Jordan said this week that Mr. Abbas and Mr. Sharon would meet next Tuesday, but Israeli and Palestinian officials say that is only likely if an agreement can be reached on the meeting's agenda.

Palestinian officials say they will use the summit to ask Israel to release Palestinian prisoners, ease roadblocks and withdraw troops from West Bank towns. Israel wants the Palestinian Authority to disarm militants.

The two leaders were originally scheduled to meet this past Sunday. But the summit was canceled in the wake of renewed violence.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.