US envoy in effort to save Mideast talks

A U.S. envoy is shuttling between Jerusalem and Ramallah in an effort to salvage Mideast peace talks facing collapse because of a spat over Jewish settlements.

George Mitchell is meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders at odds over the end Israel's temporary settlement slowdown.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to quit the talks if the restrictions are not extended. Israel has refused to extend the curbs.

Abbas is expected to make his final decision at a meeting of Arab foreign ministers Wednesday in Cairo.

Egypt's foreign minister on Friday issued a surprising criticism of the Palestinian position.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit told the al-Hayat newspaper that making talks contingent on the slowdown marked a failure to see the "real goal" — setting the borders of a Palestinian state.