Abbas: No quick decision on future of Middle East peace talks
Despite threats to quit negotiations over Israel's resumption of settlement building, Palestinian president keeps hope of compromise alive.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that there will be no quick decision on whether to pull out of Mideast peace talks now that an Israeli moratorium on West Bank settlement construction has ended.
"We will not have swift reactions now, to say 'yes or 'no - we want, or we don't want'," Abbas told reporters during a joint press conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris.
The Palestinian president met with Sarkozy as Israel's 10-month settlement moratorium expired at midnight on Sunday, and the French president backed Abbas's position that the construction of settlements should be frozen for another 3-4 months.
Abbas said that he will consult with the 22-member Arab League next Monday on how to proceed.
"After this chain of meetings, we might publish a position that clears up the position of the Palestinian and Arab people after Israel has refused to freeze settlements," he said.
Abbas has repeatedly said Palestinians would quit newly relaunched peace talks if Israel resumes settlement activity. A 10-month slowdown on construction expired at midnight on Sunday, and Netanyahu says he will not renew the order.
Monday's comments signaled the Palestinians are giving U.S. mediators more time to reach a compromise.
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