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Olmert, Abbas talking again

Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas resumed direct talks after more than a monthlong break.

The Israeli prime minister hosted the Palestinian Authority president at his Jerusalem residence Monday for their first meeting since Feb. 19.

As part of peace talks revived under U.S. auspices last year, Olmert and Abbas are meant to hold talks every two weeks.

But Abbas suspended contacts last month following a bloody Israeli offensive against Hamas rocket crews in the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian shooting spree at Jerusalem’s Mercaz HaRav yeshiva a few days later triggered Israeli calls on Olmert to scrap the negotiations altogether.

The two leaders were joined at Monday’s meeting by their chief negotiators, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and the Palestinian Authority’s former prime minister, Ahmed Queria.

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