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Palestinian President Says No Progress Made on Mideast Peace

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has told the Associated Press that no progress was achieved during his recent meeting with U.S. President George Bush on the mideast peace process.

Mr. Abbas was in Washington this week for talks with Mr. Bush and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Mr. Bush says achieving a Palestinian state is a "high priority" for his administration.

But the Palestinian leader told AP Friday he is disappointed that the U.S. has not pushed Israel to stop expanding Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory. Mr. Abbas called the issue the biggest obstacle to peace with Israel.

Mr. Abbas also said Condoleezza Rice had refused to talk about the final borders for a Palestinian state.

The U.S. State Department announced Friday Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel to London, Israel and the West Bank next week to discuss the Middle East peace process. A spokesman says she will meet in London with other members of the international quartet on Middle East peace the U.S., Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.

The trip is expected to be her last to the region before President Bush goes there around the middle of next month.

In other news, Israel dismissed a six-month truce proposal from Hamas, hours after a Palestinian militant shot and killed two Israeli security guards at a factory near the West Bank town of Tulkarem.

Hamas and another militant group, Islamic Jihad, both claimed responsibility for the attack.

An Israeli government spokesman David Baker Thursday suggested Hamas was only offering a cease-fire in order to recover and re-arm following recent fighting.

Some information for this report provided by AP.