Mahmoud Abbas: No Common Groung for Peace Talks

President Abbas made the comments in an interview published Thursday in an Arabic language newspaper, Al-Hayat.

Mr. Abbas said because Israel is allowing settlement construction to continue in the West Bank, there is nothing for the two leaders to discuss.   

His comments followed U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks to the United Nations on Wednesday, where he said Israelis and Palestinians should resume peace talks "without preconditions," Voice of America reports.

In the meantime, Abbas said he did not reject the principle of talks and dialogues, but that he could not sit down with the Israelis until there is "a clear path,"  he told the  London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayyat in an interview published Thursday.

"We don't want to come out with a crisis with the Americans, or create a crisis. But in the meantime, we can't go on unless there is a clear path. The road must be defined so we can know where we are going," Abbas said.

Abbas called on Israel to freeze all construction in the settlements, saying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's compromise is not enough.

"We can't accept the status quo because a partial halt means a continuation of settlements," Abbas said. "Even if it is halted by 95 percent, it is still a continuation of settlement activities," Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports.

 It was also reported, that was the first time that Abbas met Netanyahu since the hawkish Israeli leader "who refuses to freeze Jewish settlement in the West Bank" took office in early April.

  Abu Rdineh said, "Our position is the same; there will be no negotiations without stopping the settlement."

He added that the U.S.-sponsored meetings "will continue in the coming period of time to create the suitable atmosphere for resuming the negotiations," Xinhua reports.

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