The Palestinian Authority has said it will not return to peace talks with Israel unless there is a freeze on settlement building that includes East Jerusalem.

President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinians and Israel had received no official US request to return to the talks, which began in September but stopped three weeks later after Israel refused to extend a freeze on new settlements in the West Bank.

Asked if the Palestinian Authority would agree to resume the talks if a new settlement freeze did not include East Jerusalem, he said: ‘Of course ... if there is no complete halt to settlements in all of the Palestinian territories including Jerusalem, we will not accept’.

The president was speaking to reporters after meeting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo.