Abbas rules out talks without halt to settlements

Abbas rules out talks without halt to settlements

"There will be no negotiations without international legitimacy and a complete halt to settlements," he said in an address to thousands who gathered to welcome him back from his bid to secure full UN membership for a state of Palestine.

The comments appeared to be a rejection of a proposal for new talks from the international peacemaking Quartet, which on Friday proposed renewed negotiations but did not explicitly seek a settlement freeze.

Abbas told the crowds that he had conveyed their dreams of statehood to the international community with his address to the General Assembly and formal submission of the membership bid.

"We went to the United Nations carrying your hopes, your dreams, your ambitions, your suffering, your vision and your need for an independent Palestinian state," he said.

"I have no doubt that the whole free world from one end to the other received what we told them about you and your dreams with all due respect," he added as the crowds chanted "The people want a Palestinian state."

Abbas arrived in Ramallah from Amman, and was greeted by a presidential honour guard at his headquarters, known as the Muqataa.

He walked solemnly into the compound and went immediately to the grave of his predecessor Yasser Arafat where he laid a wreath.

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