Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is sending the Obama administration's special envoy for the Middle East back to the region within weeks to pursue further progress between Israel and the Palestinians. Clinton spoke to reporters at the State Department after meeting with special envoy George Mitchell, who returned Monday from a visit to Egypt, Israel, Jordan and elsewhere in the Middle East. Clinton said Mitchell spoke with regional leaders about steps toward attaining a sustainable and durable cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. She said Mitchell's initial trip was the first of many planned high-level diplomatic engagements. She said Mitchell would be returning to the region before the end of this month.