Middle East peace negotiations will resume in New York on Thursday with US officials hosting separate talks with Israelis and Palestinians, the White House said Wednesday.
Israel's Interim Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami said earlier Wednesday after a meeting in Washington with US national security adviser Sandy Berger that negotiations would resume in Washington.
However, White House National Security Council spokesman Daniel Cruise said New York would be the venue.
"The Palestinians are coming to New York Thursday," he said. "This is an offer we made before this morning's meeting" between Ben Ami and Berger.
Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat and Mohammed Dahlan left the Middle East for Washington earlier Wednesday, the Voice of Palestine radio reported.
Ben Ami is to see US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright later Wednesday at a New York reception, and there were tentative plans for the two ministers to dine together on Thursday, a senior State Department official said.
Special US Middle East envoy Dennis Ross is expected in New York on Thursday, the official said.
Word of the new meetings in the United States came as Israel and the Palestinians missed a Wednesday deadline for a final pact to end their more than half-century conflict.
Ben Ami told Israeli television the new talks would be aimed at putting down on paper what had been discussed at July's failed Camp David peace summit.
The US official declined to comment on Ben Ami's statement – WASHINGTON (AFP)
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