Syria-based Palestinian officials postpone Hamas-led Damascus meeting

Syria-based Palestinian officials announced on Tuesday that a Hamas-led meeting due here in early November would be postponed to coincide with the US-sponsored Mideast peace conference later this year. The Damascus meeting of Palestinian groups opposed to peace talks with Israel had been envisaged to rival the conference called for by US President George W. Bush in Annapolis, Maryland. The US-sponsored Mideast conference, due in November or December, is expected to relaunch Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. Talal Naji, a ranking official with the Syria-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, said that a preparatory committee had rescheduled the Damascus gathering, initially planned for November 7-9, to have it "coincide with the Bush conference."