Israeli-Palestinian teams talk after checkpoint stop

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JERUSALEM, Nov 12 (Reuters) Israeli and Palestinian officials resumed preparatory talks today for a US-hosted conference, a day after Palestinian negotiators were stopped at an Israeli checkpoint and a session was called off.

An Israeli government official gave no details of the talks, other to say that they had ended for the day.

A planned meeting yesterday was scrapped after chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurie and other members of his team, travelling from the occupied West Bank, were stopped at an Israeli checkpoint on their way to the venue inside Israel.

An aide to Qurie said the Palestinian negotiators subsequently informed Israel they wanted to transfer the talks to another country.

An Israeli spokesman said yesterday that Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni had telephoned Qurie, promising an investigation into the checkpoint incident.

The negotiators have been meeting regularly ahead of a conference on Palestinian statehood in Annapolis, Maryland in late November but have been struggling to narrow differences over a joint statement to be presented at the gathering.

Both sides have said they want talks on Palestinian statehood and peace to follow the event.

REUTERS PJ HT2154

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