Palestinian officials say talks between Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have yielded no
breakthrough in Middle East peace negotiations.
Saeb Erekat, an aide to Mr. Abbas, says the Palestinians are not likely
to resume peace talks with Israel without a total freeze in Jewish
Erekat says the settlement issue came up when Mr. Abbas and Clinton met
Saturday in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates. U.S. Middle
East envoy George Mitchell attended the meeting.
Israel is offering only a partial halt to Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank.
Clinton also is scheduled to hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel.
On Friday, Mr. Netanyahu said he looks forward to discussions on
resuming peace talks with the Palestinians "as soon as possible."
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley says Clinton's visit to the
region reflects the U.S. administration's commitment to work through
the challenges that U.S. negotiators have been facing as they pursue
"comprehensive Middle East peace."
In addition to the settlement issue, Israeli and Palestinian officials
have yet to agree on the future of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian
refugees and the borders of a future Palestinian state.