No talks with Israel unless settlement stops: PLO

Mahmoud Abbas said that the progress of the dialogue would depend on the will shown by Tel Aviv.

Ramallah: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas insisted that he would only have direct conversation with Israel if the Israeli government guarantees the complete freeze of the constructions in the West Bank.

Abbas, after receiving the European Union Foreign Policy High Representative Catherine Ashton in Ramallah yesterday, said that the progress of the dialogue promoted by the US would depend on the will shown by Tel Aviv.

"We will not negotiate without a complete freezing of the activity in the installations in the West Bank," said the leader of the Palestine National Authority.

This had been the same position Abbas showed the US Special Envoy for the Middle East George Mitchell.

Ashton declined to make statements after the meeting but an official spokesman said Ashton supported the Palestine position.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on the other hand, ignored international calls for at least a partial extension to save the recent negotiation process.

Abbas expressed to Ashton that Palestine`s final decision will be adopted after next Wednesday in El Cairo, Egypt, with Arab leaders.

The PNA had requested an urgent meeting with the Arab
Peace Initiative Committee to analyse the new situation and define their future.

Arab League representatives, in the meanwhile, are
planning to request the UN Security Council to hold a meeting
to discuss the topic.