January 22nd, 2009
01:04 PM ET
11 months ago

Obama to name Mitchell Mideast envoy at State event today

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

WASHINGTON (CNN) - CNN has learned that President Obama will name former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell as his special envoy for the Middle East during an event at the State Department Thursday afternoon, according to a senior administration official.

Related: Mitchell is a seasoned foreign policy veteran

The move, which is meant to send the signal that Obama is planning to get actively involved in trying to help broker Mideast peace early in his term, will be announced at a 2:40 pm ET event with newly sworn-in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In recent days, Obama officials have talked to Israeli, Palestinian and Arab diplomats about the choice, sources close to the administration and diplomats told CNN.

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 Clinton.

Mitchell is one of several envoys who will 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, but it’s unclear what role he’ll play given Mitchell’s appointment. Former UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who negotiated peace in the Balkans, is also expected to be named as an envoy dealing with Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Rob

    Jim Harvey January 22nd, 2009 4:35 pm ET

    BLASPHEMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jim, how dare you cast dispersions upon The One Most Holy On High!!! Did you not pay any attention to what has happened? We have been delivered from a great evil. How dare you besmerch He who is most Holy On High!!!!!

    Now, say 5 Hail Oprahs and don't ever do that again!!!!!!!!

    January 22, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. And the Truth is...

    Does Obama feel that a woman can't do a man's job??? A slap in the face for Clinton and all women.

    This your FIRST mistake and it only took you less than 2 days to do it...

    January 22, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. Charles Atlanta

    Gee. Seems like lots of middle east experts here. Remember, peace is NOT forever. If we can get a few years of peace between Palestinians and Israeli, it will be a great contribution to the region.

    January 22, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. Matt

    @ Matt H.

    true enough, but you got the point

    January 22, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. bsmith171

    he couldn't even resolve the baseball steroid mystery.

    January 22, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
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