Accessibility links

Breaking News

US, Palestinian Talks End With No Change on Statehood Issue

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) meets with US Mideast peace envoy David Hale in the West Bank city of Ramallah, September 7, 2011.

Talks between Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. envoys have ended with no apparent shift in a Palestinian plan to seek statehood recognition in the United Nations this month.

The French news agency quotes an aide to Mr. Abbas as saying differences between the two sides remained "wide" on Wednesday, following talks in the West Bank.

Mr. Abbas met with U.S. envoys David Hale and Dennis Ross. The two diplomats pressed Mr. Abbas to return to peace talks with Israel instead of pursuing statehood recognition at the U.N. General Assembly later this month.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland described the consultations as "good" but added the U.S. considers the Palestinian course of action to be "misguided."

U.S.-mediated talks between Israel and the Palestinians stalled a year ago after an Israeli moratorium on West Bank settlement construction expired. Palestinians oppose Israeli construction on land that they want as part of a future state.

On Tuesday, Ross and Hale discussed the peace process with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials. Nuland says the two envoys are now holding phone consultations with members of the Mideast Quartet, a group comprising the U.S., U.N., European Union and Russia.

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

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.