RAMALLAH, West Bank – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he’ll resume direct peace talks if Israel accepts its 1967 frontier as a baseline for the borders of a Palestinian state and agrees to the deployment of an international force to guard them.

Abbas, who is under growing pressure from the United States to resume negotiations, met Saturday with President Obama’s Mideast envoy, former Maine Sen. George Mitchell.

It was not clear whether Mitchell made any headway. He would say only that he was “heartened” by the talks he has held in the region in recent days and that he would return soon. On Friday, he met with Netanyahu.

The U.S. envoy has been shuttling between Abbas and Netanyahu in recent weeks to try to close some of the gaps between the sides. Abbas, Netanyahu and Mitchell are scheduled to meet separately with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo today to sound out the prospects for a return to direct negotiations.

Abbas’ latest comments, published Saturday in the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad, hinted at some flexibility in his position. The Palestinian leader did not mention a comprehensive Israeli settlement freeze as a condition for negotiations — something he has underlined as crucial in the past.

But it seemed unlikely that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would meet Abbas’ demands. Netanyahu has refused to be pinned down on a framework for negotiations, insisting on talks without conditions.

The Palestinians are wary of entering talks with the hardline Netanyahu, after 17 years of intermittent talks with a succession of Israeli leaders failed to bring them any closer to statehood.