Washington (CNN) - Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell is resigning as the Obama administration's Mideast envoy, the White House announced Friday.
Mitchell has served as President Barack Obama's point man in the region as the administration has tried to keep Arab-Israeli peace talks on track.FULL STORY
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Special Envoy George Mitchell in a trilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the Secretary’s Office on Thursday. (PHOTO CREDIT: State Department Official Photograph)
Washington (CNN) - President Obama's Middle East peace initiative this week has led to promises of a second round of negotiations on September 14-15, but CNN has learned that Israeli and Palestinian officials are also privately discussing the possibility of a third round of talks as early as later this month.
Two senior officials close to the talks said Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are already discussing a possible third round of talks because both sides are concerned about the impact of Israel's 10-month moratorium on Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank that expires on September 26th.
The goal is to pick up some momentum coming out of the September 14-15 talks, which Obama's Special Middle East Envoy George Mitchell announced Thursday in Washington after the first direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials in nearly two years.
Washington (CNN) - The United States is urging diplomacy by the Mideast Quartet to help push a speedy resumption of direct peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, a State Department spokesman said Tuesday.
"We are consulting with the Quartet and looking to see how we can encourage the parties to begin direct negotiations," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.
His comments come as Special U.S. Envoy George Mitchell held what Crowley called a "serious and positive" meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank on Tuesday in an effort to persuade Abbas to launch direct talks. Mitchell is expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday.
The parties are taking part in "proximity talks," in which Mitchell has been shuttling between the sides with little substantial progress.
(CNN) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to meet Friday with U.S. special envoy George Mitchell to advance direct talks next month with the Palestinians.
(CNN) - Obama administration's special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, returned to the region Thursday, even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized that "there will be no freeze" on construction opposed by Palestinians and the United States.
Mitchell's visit comes in the wake of talks this week that included U.S., Israeli and Palestinian officials.
"At the end of those discussions last night, we thought it was fruitful for George to travel to the region," said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. He provided no details.
JERUSALEM (CNN) - The hopes for renewed Israeli-Palestinian talks dimmed Friday despite the fast-paced shuttle diplomacy efforts of top U.S. diplomat George Mitchell.
Mitchell, the U.S. envoy for the Middle East, capped off a week of diplomacy in the region with a second round of talks with both sides. He met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Mitchell has been working to broker a last-minute deal before the start of the the Jewish New Year, which begins at sundown on Friday, and the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday this weekend. The deal would allow a trilateral meeting among Netanyahu, Abbas and President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly next week in New York.
One of the sticking points has been the Israeli settlement freeze issue.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell will spend two days in Syria this weekend as part of the Obama administration's effort to jump-start comprehensive peace efforts in the region, the State Department said
Mitchell is already in Israel and plans to visit Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, and Lebanon before heading to Damascus, State
Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters. Mitchell's visit is a follow-up to President Barack Obama's speech to the Muslim world last week in Cairo, Egypt, and part of his policy to pursue a "broad-based, comprehensive peace dealing with all the regional players."
"This is a very high priority," Kelly said.
U.S.-Syrian ties have been strained in recent years over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Iraq and the ongoing political
struggle between pro- and anti-Syrian factions in Lebanon. The United States has not had an ambassador in Damascus since 2005.
JERUSALEM (CNN) - U.S. envoy George Mitchell met with Israeli President Shimon Peres Tuesday, asking for a prompt resumption of the stalled Mideast peace talks and playing down tensions that have arisen between the two countries in recent days.
"Israelis and Palestinians have a responsibility to meet their obligations under the Road Map," Mitchell said. "And we all share an obligation to create the conditions for the prompt resumption and early conclusion of negotiations."
The 2003 Road Map is a peace plan that calls, among other things, for Israel to halt building settlements in occupied territories and Palestinians to stop violence.
In recent days, the Obama administration has repeatedly called on its Middle Eastern ally to stop construction of settlements and to work toward a two-state solution, with a separate Palestinian state alongside Israel.