Peres: 'Resume talks by end of Sept.'

In J'lem meeting, Mitchell wishes president well, says US gov't wants "two states for two peoples."

peres mitchell 248 88 (photo credit: Beit Hanassi)
peres mitchell 248 88
(photo credit: Beit Hanassi)
President Shimon Peres met with US Mideast envoy George Mitchell at Beit Hanassi on Sunday afternoon, and urged the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks by the end of September. The president also had strong words of support for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, saying that he had proved himself to be up to the task of making peace. During the hour-long meeting, Mitchell reiterated that the Obama administration was working towards "two states for two peoples," as well as normalization between Israel and Arab countries. "While we have not yet reached agreement on any outstanding issues, we are working hard to do so, and indeed the purpose of my visit here this week is to attempt to do so," he said. The meeting came a day after Peres fainted on stage during a Tel Aviv event. He was discharged from Tel Hashomer's Sheba Medical Center on Sunday morning, fully recovered from the brief medical scare. Mitchell arrived in Israel on Saturday night. At the start of the meeting, Mitchell conveyed wishes from US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a full recovery. Peres expressed thanks to all those who had wished him well. After meeting with Peres, Mitchell met with both Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Netanyahu's Monday meeting with Mitchell was set to deal not only with the settlement issue, but also with a time-line and the parameters of talks that are expected to be launched with the Palestinians on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting later this month. Herb Keinon and AP contributed to this report