Israeli Labor and Palestinian Fatah meet in Sweden

Officials from Israel's moderate Labor Party and the ruling Palestinian Fatah faction will meet in the Swedish capital Tuesday to discuss the future of the Gaza strip after the Israeli pullout.

The meeting was to be held at the headquarters of Sweden's governing Social Democrats, party spokeswoman Ann Linde said. The Fatah delegation would be led by Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Nabil Shaath while Israeli Cabinet Minister Haim Ramon was to head the Labor group, Linde said. Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds would also take part in the talks.

All delegates at the two-day meeting would be representing their political groups, not their governments, Linde said. She adds that the discussions would focus on economic and security issues. A similar meeting between the three groups was held in January 2004, she said. Fatah is Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' party, while Labor is a junior partner in Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's coalition government, AP reports.

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