Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with his Egyptian counterpart, Hosni Mubarak, on Thursday and insisted that he would not engage in peace talks with Israel while it continued to build West Bank settlements.
"Israel has gotten this process into a deep crisis," he said, adding that there would be no secret meetings with the Israelis.
Abbas was in Cairo for talks on the peace negotiations following a statement by Washington saying the US had withdrawn its demand for an extended settlement freeze.
He said George Mitchell, the US special envoy to the Middle East, is scheduled to arrive but that "our stance is clear and we have announced it to the Americans – we will not agree to negotiate as long as settlement building continues".
The Palestinian president added that he had no knowledge of what went on between Israel and the US during freeze talks. "We will know in the coming days and present it to the Arab League in order to make a decision," he said.
Abbas said he would insist upon a return to the 1967 borders and that if exchanges of land were made they would have to be on the basis of similar quantity and quality.
Abbas is currently holding consultations with Arab leaders, and on Wednesday he met with Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa and Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.
This weekend the Palestinian government is scheduled to complete a debate on the stalemate in peace talks, and emerge with its position on how to continue.
Meanwhile, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat is scheduled to visit the US for talks with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook