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Abbas to consult aides on fate of Mideast talks

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is to consult with senior Palestinians to decide whether to quit Mideast peace talks over Israel's refusal to extend a slowdown in West Bank settlement construction.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is to consult with senior Palestinians to decide whether to quit Mideast peace talks over Israel's refusal to extend a slowdown in West Bank settlement construction.

Saturday's meeting of leading members of the PLO and Abbas' Fatah movement was initially billed as decisive.

However, the deadline for a Palestinian decision has been put off, from Wednesday to Friday. This gives U.S. mediator George Mitchell more time to try to forge a compromise. Mitchell is now meeting with Arab leaders to try to rescue the negotiations.

There's no sign of a compromise, though. Abbas says he'll quit the talks without a continued settlement curb, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists talks must go on without one.