Olmert seeks to dampen expectations for Mideast peace conference

October 25, 2007 10:53

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Thursday played down expectations for an upcoming US-sponsored peace summit, saying the gathering would not produce a binding peace agreement with the Palestinians and might not even take place. Speaking to a group of Jewish fundraisers, Olmert said he is committed to making the conference a success and said he would meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday to review preparations. The summit is expected to take place later this year in Annapolis, Maryland. "If all goes well, hopefully, we will meet in Annapolis," he said. "(But) Annapolis is not made to be the event for the declaration of peace." Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams have been trying to draft a joint declaration outlining a future peace agreement ahead of the conference. The teams met Wednesday, but no agreements were announced.

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