An adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that peace negotiations cannot continue without an Israeli decision to freeze settlement building activity but there has been no progress in breaking a deadlock on that issue yet.
The aide, Nabil Shaath, made this remark ahead of a meeting between Abbas and U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell. The Obama administration dispatched Mitchell on an emergency mission to try to salvage the talks that were launched only a month ago.
"Unless the settlement activities stop completely, there is no use in continuing these negotiations," Shaath was quoted as saying by The Associated Press. "There is no progress on this issue," he added. "Apparently the Israelis are determined to swallow and steal the land and consider that much more important than peace."