Mitchell: US intends to pursue 'substantive' peace talks

After meeting Mubarak in Cairo, US envoy says Washington still aiming for "eventual framework agreement."

Mitchell 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Mitchell 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
US Mideast envoy George Mitchell said Wednesday that he intends to pursue "substantive" negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, AFP reported.
"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.
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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.
A 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.
According to al-Hayat, Palestinian 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.
The report noted however that Mitchell's offers did not cover an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders or from east Jerusalem.
Later 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.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said the two delegations would request that the US present details of its vision for an Israeli-Palestinian solution.
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.