January 21st, 2009
04:42 PM ET
8 months ago

Sources: Mitchell tapped for Mideast envoy

Sources say Mitchell has been tapped as Mideast envoy.
Sources say Mitchell has been tapped as Mideast envoy.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Obama administration has asked former Sen. George Mitchell to be a special envoy to the Middle East, sources close to the administration and diplomats told CNN.

In the final days of the transition, officials talked to Israeli, Palestinian and Arab diplomats about the choice, the sources said.

Mitchell served as a Mideast envoy for the Bush administration, authoring a 2001 report that called for a halt to Israeli settlements and greater Palestinian efforts to crack down on terror.

He also was a peace broker on Northern Ireland for President Bill Clinton.

If named to the post, Mitchell would be one of several envoys who would work in the new administration.

Sources say that Dennis Ross, a former Mideast peace envoy for several previous administrations, will be an envoy in charge of engaging Iran on a wide range of issues, including its nuclear program and its support for terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Former U.N. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who negotiated peace in the Balkans, is expected to become an envoy dealing with Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Patsy Madison, TN

    Good Guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He can get it done if it can be done.

    January 21, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  2. Vietnam Vet

    Hopefully someone who is not afraid to tell Israel the truth and not walk lock step in the you are anti-semetic ,blame game Rhetoric, Israel plays on anyone who don't go along with their misguided policies.

    January 21, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  3. Avi Shlomo

    Excellent choice providing that Emanual and Dennis Ross are told to stay out of this matter. Both have loyalty to Israel and it was Dennis Ross during the Clinton years who essentially tried to forge peace neogitating on behalf of the Israelis rather than being an honest broker. President Barack Obama need to adopt an even-handed policy that ensures sustainable peace in the Middle East following the terms of South Africa and not semi peace according the wishes of Israel. we do not want repeat of the latest Gaza slaughter.

    January 21, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  4. Axl

    I bet many people don't know that Mitchell is an Arab American.

    January 21, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  5. Texas Teacher

    Obama is surrounding himself with some of the best minds in the world! And he happens to be the BEST! So grab your behinds and get ready for the ride.... or you may get run over at the gate! :)

    January 21, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  6. Avi Shlomo

    Re Tek, Land to be negotianted. I am not sure how would you negotiate a theft. when you get robbed and the police catches the suspect, do you negotiate with the felon? As a Jew, Israel occupied all Palestine illegally and it is time for us to return the west bank and Gaza and all illegally occupied landsfor the sake of peace. The choice is between peace and Land and I will go for Peace because no one can have the two. The settler movemnet must be brought to an end.

    January 21, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  7. Henry Lukenge

    Un biased and objesctive approach to middle east peace. There needs to an honest broker here. U can not ask Hamas to stop rockets but say northing when Israelis build settlements on occupied Land

    January 21, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  8. Thomas

    Great choice !

    January 21, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  9. stop propping up Israelis

    President Obama, please

    (1) stop rubber-stamping everything the Israelis do
    (2) stop the money, weapons shipments, and unquestioning diplomatic defenses
    (3) stop the influence of the Jewish lobby (AIPAC) in Washington, per your promise to stop the influence of lobbyists

    January 21, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
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