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FILE PHOTO: President of the European Council Donald Tusk arrives at a press conference at Government buildings in Dublin, Ireland, December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

(reuters_tickers)

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Council President Donald Tusk cancelled a trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories planned for this week due to a "critical moment" in Brexit negotiations, an EU official said on Monday.

Tusk, who scheduled a meeting in Brussels at short notice on Monday with British Prime Minister Theresa May, will chair an EU summit next week that London hopes will give the go-ahead to opening talks on post-Brexit trade relations.

On Wednesday, Tusk had been due to meet Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski and Alastair Macdonald; Editing Alissa de Carbonnel)

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Reuters