Palestinian Officials: Clinton, Abbas Meeting Not Productive
Palestinian Officials: Clinton, Abbas Meeting Not Productive
<!-- IMAGE -->

Palestinian officials say talks between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have yielded no breakthrough in Middle East peace negotiations.

Saeb Erekat, an aide to Mr. Abbas, says the Palestinians are not likely to resume peace talks with Israel without a total freeze in Jewish settlement construction.

Erekat says the settlement issue came up when Mr. Abbas and Clinton met Saturday in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.  U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell attended the meeting.

Israel is offering only a partial halt to Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank.

Clinton also is scheduled to hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel.

On Friday, Mr. Netanyahu said he looks forward to discussions on resuming peace talks with the Palestinians "as soon as possible."

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley says Clinton's visit to the region reflects the U.S. administration's commitment to work through the challenges that U.S. negotiators have been facing as they pursue "comprehensive Middle East peace."

In addition to the settlement issue, Israeli and Palestinian officials have yet to agree on the future of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees and the borders of a future Palestinian state. 

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