Israelis and Palestinians Agree on New Negotiation Plan

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed to work toward reaching a peace pact by the end of next year.

President Bush says negotiations will begin December 12th and will continue on a biweekly basis. He says the goal is to establish a democratic Palestinian state that will live "side by side" with Israel in "peace and security."

Bush made the announcement today at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where the two sides are taking part in a Mideast peace summit.

After Bush's announcement Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said any Mideast peace deal should ensure the Palestinians have East Jerusalem as their capital. He's also calling for an end to Jewish settlements in disputed lands.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert followed Abbas, promising that "the negotiations will address all the issues which thus far have been evaded."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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