Mitchell: Israel-Palestinian peace deal within a year

US envoy calls PM's suggestion to meet personally with Abbas every 2 weeks "sensible approach which we hope is undertaken."

September 1, 2010 10:40
2 minute read.
US ENVOY George Mitchell discusses Mideast diplomacy with reporters at the State Department on Frida

Mitchell 311. (photo credit: Alex Brandon/AP)

US Mideast envoy George Mitchell on Tuesday night stressed the US belief in the possibility of the sides reaching an agreement within a year, in a briefing for reporters held before the

Tuesday was a case in point, as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had meetings scheduled with Netanyahu and Abbas and her counterparts from Jordan and Egypt.

US officials, however, declined to discuss the moratorium or single out the issue of settlements despite its impending prominence in the future of the talks.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu and Abbas, as well as Jordan’s King Abdullah and Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, are set to have bilateral meetings with US President Barack Obama.

Obama plans to make a statement following the meetings, and then each of the leaders will make remarks ahead of an intimate dinner expected to be held in the White House.

The following day, Clinton will hold a three-way meeting with Netanyahu and Abbas that is likely to last several hours. Afterwards, the three are expected to make public addresses formally launching direct talks.

Late Tuesday, Clinton was also scheduled to met with Quartet envoy Tony Blair and former president Jimmy Carter.

Carter, who helped broker the peace accords between Israel and Egypt, was at the State Department to talk about North Korea following his role arranging the release of a US citizen being held by the authorities there.

US officials did, however, acknowledge the important work done in the many previous iterations of the peace process, which haven’t been as successful when it comes to the Israelis and Palestinians.

Mitchell said he had studied those previous attempts and the frameworks they engendered, and that while the Obama administration has tried to “avoid a slavish adherence to the past,” it has gleaned essential principles.

He pointed to the need for frequent direct contact between the leaders involved; active and sustained US participation; maintaining broad international support; and the importance of creating an atmosphere conducive to success and conveying a “sincerity and seriousness of purpose” on the part of both sides.

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