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Israel backs compromise plan on resuming pullout talks

Israel has agreed in principle to a compromise formula put forward by US and UN mediators for resumption of the suspended troop withdrawal talks between Israel and Lebanon, sources said Tuesday.

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Speaking on condition that they not be identified, the sources said that under the formula, Lebanon's government would issue a statement saying it sought resumption of the talks and was satisfied with progress toward release of four arrested Shiite Muslim leaders in southern Lebanaon. In return, Israel would free at least two of the detainees, members of the Shiite militia Amal, and would promise to free the others later.

Talks could resume Wednesday if Lebanon agreed to the idea.

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