CAIRO (AFP) - Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Saturday said there were "no signs" Israel and the Palestinians could reach a peace deal by the end of the year as had been hoped. "So far, there are no signs to reach an agreement by the end of the year that comprises all the issues" at stake, Abbas told reporters after talks in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. "There was hope that 2008 would be the year of peace," Abbas said. "Everyone has made huge efforts: the Palestinians, the Israelis and the Americans but it does not necessarily mean that we will reach a solution" by the end of the year, he said. The peace talks were launched at a US-sponsored conference in November with the goal of reaching a comprehensive peace deal by the time US President George W. Bush leaves office in January 2009. But the two sides remain sharply divided on the core issues of the conflict, despite several meetings in recent months between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators. Differences focus on the future status of Jerusalem, final borders, the fate of some 4.6 million UN-registered Palestinian refugees, and the future of Jewish settlements on Israeli-occupied territory. Abbas insisted that the Palestinians "want a solution... but it must not ignore any of the (key) issues." On August 31 a senior Israeli government official said his country wants to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians by the end of the year but postpone a final agreement on the future of Jerusalem. "Both sides are interested in reaching a full agreement by the end of 2008 and believe it is possible," the official said after a meeting between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. "But since the question of Jerusalem is not solvable within this timeframe they will have to agree to postpone an accord on this issue and agree on a mechanism and a timetable for Jerusalem." Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in August also played down the chances of a peace deal this year saying: "Until everything is agreed, nothing is agreed." Abbas was in Egypt to discuss with Mubarak efforts by Egypt to organise an inter-Palestinian dialogue to end months of fighting between rival Palestinian factions.