ISRAEL ACCEPTS WASHINGTON AS VENUE FOR NEXT PEACE TALKS

Israel has agreed that Middle East peace talks due to resume Jan. 7 may take place in Washington, Transport Minister Moshe Katzav said yesterday. He said Israel hoped subsequent talks would take place closer to home, preferably in the Middle East."Unfortunately the Arab side rejects our proposals in this matter and we hope that during the second meeting in Washington we'll be able to convince the Arab side ... [that] it's better to negotiate here around the Middle East and even in Europe," Mr. Katzav told reporters. Israeli officials say talks closer to home would facilitate government consultations.

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