Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that all parties concerned in the region are exerting efforts to reach peace between Palestinians and Israel by the end of 2008.

In a pres briefing, following a meeting with Egyptian president Husni Mubarak in Cairo, Abbas revealed that he asked President of United States , Gorge W. Bush, during a meeting in Washington recently, to help halt Israeli settlement activities and advance the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.

‘the Palestinian Authority is supportive of any dialogue with the Syrian brothers to reach a comprehensive peace deal by the end of this year’, Abbas made clear in reaction to latest Israeli willingness to resume peace on the Syrian track.

The president maintained that he would meet with Bush and the Egyptian president during a three-way summit meeting, slated for May17 in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm Elshiekh.

Abbas asserted he would not sign any peace deal with Israel that would derogate the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights.

In a televised interview with Palestine TV in Ramallah, broadcast earlier, Abbas said ‘ if there would be no agreement that is based on the Palestinian national interests and rights, there would be no settlement between us and the Israelis’.

Abu Mazen (Abbas) also hinted that there has been an active American role, represented by the U.S Secretary of States, Condoleeza Rice’s expected visit to the region by May3 as well as the May17 trilateral summit meeting.

On a related note, Abbas explained that the Moscow conference for Middle East peace, is still likely, yet he confirmed that he agreed with the American administration, during his last week visit to Washington, that such a conference should be well-prepared in order to guarantee success.

Abbas’s remarks came on the heels of stalled Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, the United States had launched last November on basis of a two-state solution on the 1967 border lines.

Stalemate of the peace process has been attributed to Israel’s insistence to resume construction of new Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands, considered to be parts of the 1967 border lines, mainly the occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank.