Palestinian leader meets Jewish intellectuals on visit to France at key moment for peace talks

PARIS (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has met with Jewish writers and intellectuals in France, ahead of his planned talks with the French leader.

Abbas will meet President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday, as peace talks with Israel teetered on the question of renewed building by Jewish settlers in land claimed by Palestinians.

Abbas' French trip comes as an Israeli deadline for a construction slowdown expires at midnight Sunday.

The Palestinians have threatened to quit the negotiations if building restarts, while Netanyahu has said he will not extend the slowdown.

The Palestinian leader said in a published interview Sunday he wouldn't immediately withdraw from talks started this month if construction resumes. He says he plans to consult with Arab partners.