Abbas: PA won't return to talks without e. J'lem freeze

PA president meets Mubarak; says renewed negotiations will not be accepted "if there is no complete halt to settlements."

Abbas Mubarak (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Abbas Mubarak
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
The Palestinian Authority will not return to peace negotiations unless Israel agrees to stop building in east Jerusalem as well as in West Bank settlements, Reuters quoted PA President Mahmoud Abbas as saying on Sunday. The comments followed Abbas's Cairo meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
"Of course ... if there is no complete halt to settlements in all of the Palestinian territories including Jerusalem, we will not accept," said the PA president.
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Abbas added that the US had not formally requested that the Palestinians return to the negotiating table for renewed peace talks with Israel.
The Palestinians and the Egyptians said over the weekend that they still haven’t received the full details of a US proposal to provide Israel with a package of incentives in return for freezing settlement construction in the West Bank for an additional 90 days.
Abbas was quoted by the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper as saying that there should be no linkage between freezing settlement construction and supplying Israel with weapons. He also complained that the US Administration still hasn’t come up with new ideas to revive the peace process.
The paper quoted a senior PA official as saying that US envoy David Hale, who met with Abbas in Ramallah last week, informed the Palestinian leadership that the US Administration and Israel have yet to agree on a formula for freezing settlement construction.
“We understand from Hale that all what has been published so far [about an agreement between Israel and the US] is nothing but Israeli leaks,” the official said. “President Abbas made it clear that the Palestinians can’t accept any agreement that excludes Jerusalem.”