Palestinians tell U.S.: No peace talks until settlements stop
Abbas was due to meet Jim Jones, U.S. President Barack Obama's national security adviser in Ramallah.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he will resist renewed U.S. pressure to resume peace talks unless Israel first fully halts settlement building in the West Bank.
Abbas's remarks to Egypt's Voice of the Arabs radio appeared to pour cold water on a renewed U.S. effort to broker a resumption of negotiations stalled for more than a year.
Abbas was due to meet Jim Jones, U.S. President Barack Obama's national security adviser, later on Thursday in Ramallah. Jones was also meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. George Mitchell, the U.S. envoy for Middle East peace, is also due in the region in the coming days.
President of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, Abbas has insisted on a complete halt to Israeli building in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. He has resisted U.S. pressure to go back to the talks right away.
Asked how he would respond if the United States insisted on an immediate resumption of talks, Abbas said: "We will not accept this and we have already conveyed our position to the American administration."
U.S. pressure to resume talks without a full settlement freeze was "unjust", he said in the interview conducted this week and rebroadcast by Voice of Palestine radio on Thursday.
Abbas says a partial, 10-month freeze announced by Netanyahu in November is insufficient for a resumption of the peace talks aimed at ending the Palestinians' decades-long conflict with the Jewish state.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier this month urged Israel and the Palestinians to resume negotiations straight away and to focus immediately on agreeing the borders of a Palestinian state and the status of Jerusalem, suggesting this could break the deadlock over settlements.
U.S. and regional officials have said the United States is looking at what assurances it might provide the Palestinians and Israelis - possibly in the form of letters - that might help the parties get back to the table.
Asked if U.S. guarantees would persuade him to resume talks, Abbas said: "They already gave guarantees. These guarantees did not do anything. We do not want guarantees. We want [the United States] to tell Israel to fully freeze settlement for a period of time and then we resume negotiations."
Obama disappointed Abbas last year when he softened his demand for a settlement building freeze, instead calling on Israel to exercise restraint in construction in the lands it captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.
The Palestinians aim to establish a state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Abbas said if the United States was not able to force Israel to halt settlement activity, then "how could it implement an agreed deal?"
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