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Egypt Wants 'End Game' in Mideast Talks

Egyptian FM Ahmed Aboul Gheit speaks during a news-conference in Sofia, 08 Dec 2010

Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit says it is time for an "end game" in the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Gheit says Egypt is concerned that if negotiators continue "haggling" without making progress, then in a few years there will be no chance of "two states living side by side."

He commented while visiting Bulgaria Wednesday, a day ahead of talks between Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Egypt's state-run MENA news agency the two leaders will hold a summit in Cairo to discuss the latest Palestinian developments concerning the U.S.-mediated talks.

On Tuesday, U.S. officials announced Washington had abandoned efforts to persuade Israel to renew a West Bank settlement moratorium. State Department officials said they no longer believed the moratorium would provide the basis for resuming direct talks.

Palestinians have said they will not return to direct talks with Israel as long as Israeli settlement building continues on land they want as part of a future state.

Gheit also said Wednesday the Middle East Quartet (the U.S., EU, U.N. and Russia) should devise a framework agreement for a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.