Abbas in Greece 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday reiterated his refusal to resume peace talks with Israel unless it freezes all West Bank settlement construction.
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Abbas stated his position during a visit to Cairo Thursday, days after US officials said they had dropped efforts to persuade Israel to temporarily renew curbs on settlement.
Later Thursday, Abbas is expected to hold “urgent”
consultations in Cairo on Thursday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in wake
of Washington’s decision to abandon efforts to persuade Israel to extend a
moratorium on settlement construction, a PA official said on
Abbas has also requested an emergency meeting of Arab League
foreign ministers in the Egyptian capital next week to discuss the repercussions
of the US decision.
The PA official said the Palestinians expected the
Arab ministers to convene in Cairo as early as next week.
president will ask Abbas to delay his decision to seek international UN
recognition of a Palestinian state so as to give the US administration another
chance to persuade Israel to halt settlement construction, the official
PA negotiator Nabil Sha’ath said that in light of the American
announcement the PA leadership would discuss the possibility of asking the UN
Security Council to recognize an independent Palestinian state along the
He said that the PLO Executive Committee and the Fatah
Central Committee would convene in Ramallah to discuss the PA response
to the US
announcement as soon as Abbas returns from his current tour
Sha’ath added that the Palestinians hold Israel fully responsible
for the current deadlock in the peace talks He said that Israel’s
cease settlement construction would be added to US President Barack
“record of failure” in making the peace process succeed.
Abbas, who learned about the
US position during a visit to Greece, said that the peace process was
He told reporters in Athens that the EU could now
play a larger role, together with the US, to achieve peace in the Middle