| Updated at: 1409 PST, Sunday, October 03, 2010|
CAIRO: The Palestinians want peace talks with Israel to continue, US envoy George Mitchell said in Cairo on Sunday after the Palestine Liberation Organisation urged president Mahmud Abbas to quit the negotiations.
"Despite their differences, both the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority have asked us to continue these discussions in an effort to establish the conditions under which they can continue direct negotiations," Mitchell told reporters after meeting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
"They both want to continue these negotiations, they do not want to stop the talks," he added.
The Middle East envoy arrived in Cairo on Saturday as part of a regional tour aimed at saving fledgling the direct peace talks.
The US-backed negotiations began on September 2, but have been on the brink of collapse since Israel refused to extend a 10-month moratorium on new settler homes in the West Bank that expired a week ago.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation on Saturday urged Abbas to withdraw from the talks over the Israeli settlement construction, his spokesman said in Ramallah.
Seeking to break the deadlock, Mitchell met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Abbas in Ramallah on Friday, before flying to Qatar for more talks. He is due in Jordan on Sunday.
The Palestinians have long viewed the presence of some 500,000 Israelis in more than 120 settlements scattered across the West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem as a major obstacle to the establishment of a viable state.
The international community considers the settlements to be illegal.