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Palestinians Up the Ante Before Bush Summit

Palestinian chief negotiator Ahmad Qurei’ threatened on Tuesday to suspend all talks with Israel until a firm date for the establishment of a Palestinian state is agreed upon. The Palestinian position concerning the American-sponsored conference has been that it be preceded by a document in which Israel and the Palestinians agree to definite principles and specific timelines. The Israelis have insisted on a more general "agreement of interests" with no stated time frame. At a news conference with European Union external affairs commissioner Benita Ferraro-Waldner Qurei’ said, "We will not accept negotiations without a timetable." Qurei’ was also negative about progress in the on-going negotiations to create a pre-conference document. No date has been finalized for the conference and no invitations have been sent out as doubt that the parley will be held at all builds among observers.