Israel, P.A. begin post-Annapolis talks

Israel and the Palestinian Authority held the first round of peace talks launched at the Annapolis conference.

Israel’s chief negotiator, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and her Palestinian Authority counterpart, former Prime Minister Ahmed Queria, met in a Jerusalem hotel Wednesday for 90 minutes of talks.

The meeting was overshadowed by Palestinian Authority displeasure at an Israeli plan to expand the controversial Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa. Queria’s aides said he pressed the Israelis to stop construction on land where Palestinians seek to build their state.

Livni had no immediate comment on the talks, which other Israeli officials described as preliminary and an opportunity for the sides to air their views.

Wednesday’s meeting was the official first stage of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks launched at last month’s international conference under United States auspices in Annapolis, Md.

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