The Palestinians and Israel disagree sharply over whether next week's three-way Mideast summit should help relaunch peace talks or just be an exploratory get-together, officials said Tuesday, dimming hopes that the US-sponsored talks will produce results.
Israel won't talk about issues of substance until it learns more about the power-sharing deal between Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, said government spokeswoman Miri Eisin.
The agreement falls short of international demands that a new Palestinian government, a coalition of Hamas and Abbas' Fatah movement, explicitly recognize Israel's right to exist.
Meanwhile, Army Radio reported that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met Tuesday evening with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Amir Peretz in his office on Tuesday evening in preparation for the upcoming summit.
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