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No point in direct talks with Israel now: Abbas

world Updated: Jul 11, 2010 15:01 IST

AP
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The Palestinian president says direct talks with Israel would be futile under current circumstances. President Mahmoud Abbas is under pressure from the US to resume negotiations that broke off in 2008, under Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's predecessor.

But he has said he won't return to the table unless Netanyahu commits to a settlement freeze and agrees to pick up talks where they left off.

Netanyahu hasn't agreed to either demand. He has curbed, but not frozen, settlement activity.

Abbas said late on Saturday that if the Israelis say, "come let's start negotiations from zero" that is "futile and pointless."

His aide, Yasser Abed Rabbo, has said that the Palestinians won't return to talks without a framework and a timetable.