US Mideast envoy George Mitchell said Wednesday that he intends to
pursue "substantive" negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians,
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"In the days ahead our discussions with both sides will be substantive,
two way conversations with an eye towards making real progress in the
next few months on the key questions of an eventual framework
agreement," Mitchell was quoted as saying.
The US envoy was speaking in Cairo following talks with Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak.
He said that US aims to "pursue a framework agreement that would
establish the fundamental compromises on all permanent status issues...
(to) pave the way for a final peace treaty."
Earlier on Wednesday, PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaina was quoted as
saying that Mitchell had proposed a set of "unofficial" ideas to the
Palestinians in efforts to move the peace process forward.
report in the London-based al-Hayat
newspaper Wednesday morning said that Mitchell had made no US
guarantees during his meeting Tuesday night in Ramallah with Abbas.
officials said Mitchell suggested that Egypt and Jordan be included in
the discussion on borders, and that a "just" solution would be sought
for refugees, water distribution and claims on Jerusalem.
report noted however that Mitchell's offers did not cover an Israeli
withdrawal to the 1967 borders or from east Jerusalem.
Wednesday, a Palestinian delegation was expected to meet with an
Egyptian delegation in Cairo, ahead of talks on the peace process
scheduled to be held by the Arab League.
Minister Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said the two delegations would request that
the US present details of its vision for an Israeli-Palestinian
Mitchell arrived back in the region on Monday to discuss the core issues
separately with each side in the hope that gaps could be narrowed and
direct negotiations restarted.