Karin Laub
The Associated Press
October 29, 2008 - 8:00pm

A senior Palestinian official said Wednesday the Quartet of Middle East peacemakers will meet Nov. 6 at Sharm el-Sheik to assess progress in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting's date has not been announced, said the gathering in Egypt would include U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The aim is to hear the progress Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have made in their talks. The so-called Quartet is made up of the U.N., the U.S., the European Union and Russia.

Rice had asked Egypt to host the meeting before President Bush's term ends in January. Bush hosted a peace conference in Annapolis, Md., a year ago and has expressed hope for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal before year's end.

Separately, Nabil Shaath, a top aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Abbas will go to Egypt for the Nov. 9 start of power-sharing talks with Hamas. Abbas has shunned Hamas since the group seized the Gaza Strip by force in 2007.

Hamas and Fatah are to talk about forming a joint Palestinian government, rebuilding the security forces and setting a date for presidential and legislative elections.

Several rounds of power-sharing talks have failed since Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006. Egypt has been mediating contacts between the rival groups.


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