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No Progress in Peace Talks Following Palestinian Meeting

Egyptian FM Ahmed Aboul Gheit (L) speaks during a joint press conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, 28 Oct 2010

A meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and high-level Egyptian officials has ended with no breakthrough in efforts to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Susan Yackee's interview with Northeastern University's Dennis Sullivan:

Mr. Abbas held talks in the West Bank with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who was accompanied by Egypt's intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman.

The French news agency quotes Gheit as saying the "desired breakthrough" was not achieved, but that negotiators are still working with the Israelis and the Americans.

Ahead of Thursday's talks in Ramallah, news agencies said the Egyptian leaders were trying to convince Mr. Abbas to accept a partial Israeli freeze on new settlement construction in return for returning to the direct talks that stalled last month.

Progress on the U.S.-mediated direct talks came to a halt after an Israeli settlement moratorium expired last month. The Palestinians have insisted they will not negotiate while settlement building continues on land they want as part of a future state.

Arab League leaders met earlier this month and decided to give the United States until early November to resolve the impasse before they reconvene to consider alternatives.

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