Abbas: No peace talks without settlement freeze
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas on Saturday conveyed the resumption of peace talks with Israel is impossible before a complete freeze on West Bank settlement construction is put in place. In comments follwing his meeting with US secretary of state Hillary Clinton in Abu Dhabi, the Palestinian leader said the Israeli government should honour its obligations, in particualr those related to a total halt on the settlements.
"The problem is that the Israeli government refuses to stop building settlements" in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. "The question Jerusalem was at the center of talks during our meeting today", Abbas said adding that "peace starts in Jerusalem".
According to WAM, Abbas said Arabs, Muslims and the whole world is responsible for the issue of Jerusalem "which is in real danger." "Without Jerusalem, there will be no point in peace," Abbas warned. "We came up with nothing new", Abbas stressed, adding that no breakthrough was made at the meeting with Mrs. Clinton.
US Middle East envoy George Mitchell was also present at the meeting.