Abbas: no talks before complete settlement freeze

08:48, November 22, 2010      

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Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (R) talks with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmud Abbas during their meeting in Cairo on November 21, 2010. (Xinhua/AFP)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Sunday reiterated that the Palestinian side will not accept a resumption of the direct talks unless Israel halts settlement constructions in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem.

Neither Israel nor the Palestinian side has received proposals from the U.S. administration, Abbas said in a press conference after meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo.

"We will do our utmost in order to reach a solution that could lead to establishing an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital and settling the final status," Abbas said, adding two issues were mainly discussed during the meeting, namely, the possibility of resuming direct negotiations, and the developments of the inter-Palestinian dialogue.

Abbas said the Palestinian side is still waiting for an official response from the U.S. administration, hoping that such response would be issued soon in order to be discussed at the Palestinian level and then referred to the Arab Peace Initiative Committee.

The U.S. administration has proposed an incentive package including 20 F-35 stealth warplanes in return for freezing settlement construction for 90 days.

"We are not part of this deal," Abbas said, noting the deal is part of the strategic relations between Israel and the United States.

Abbas said that Palestinians have several options before seeking the UN Security Council, the first is the direct peace talks.

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