Annapolis to host Mideast peace talks

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WASHINGTON — The United States has picked Annapolis as the expected site of a Mideast peace conference this fall that President Bush hopes will launch new negotiations toward establishing an independent Palestinian state, the Associated Press has learned.

The small city about 30 miles northeast of Washington was selected for proximity to the capital and the presence of the U.S. Naval Academy, where the November conference would be based, U.S. and other officials said today.

The U.S. official spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the conference have not been announced. The United States has been vague about the agenda, timing and guest list for the meeting, but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said it will deal with the hardest issues in the 60-year Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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