No Israeli Peace Talks Without Settlement Freeze, Abbas SaysMarch 27, 2010, 11:52 AM EDT
| SIRTE, Libya: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ruled out US-brokered indirect talks with Israel unless the Jewish state changes its settlement policy.|
He demanded a "complete halt to all Israeli practices," particularly in annexed east Jerusalem which the Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.
"Negotiations on the borders (of a future state) would be absurd if Israel decides on the ground the border," he said, in reference to Israeli actions to create facts on the ground.
"We have always said Jerusalem is the jewel in the crown and the gate to peace."
He accused Israel of trying to alter the identity of Jerusalem with "ethnic cleansing on a daily basis" and warned that such practices would lead to "wars in the region."
"There won't be any (peace) agreement that does not guarantee an end to the occupation, starting with Jerusalem, because there is no sense in having a Palestinian state that does not have Jerusalem as its capital," he said, with an appeal to Arab leaders to help "rescue" Jerusalem.