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Palestinian President Meets Israeli FM on Sidelines of Tech Conference


Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas met Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom Wednesday, in an unscheduled meeting on the sidelines of a technology conference in Tunisia.

The 30-minute meeting marks the highest level contact between Israel and the Palestinians in five months.

Aides on both sides described the meeting - also attended by the president of Mauritania - as cordial, and said the Israeli and the Palestinian officials discussed the moribund Middle East peace process.

Mr. Abbas and Mr. Shalom later met with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Tunis for further talks.

Afterwards, Mr. Abbas told reporters the talks centered on the U.S.-brokered agreement reached Tuesday opening Gaza Strip borders to Palestinian travel and trade. He also said the two discussed further meetings.

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