US envoy: Mitchell to visit Syria, Lebanon this week

US special Mideast envoy George Mitchell plans to travel to Syria and Lebanon this week, a senior Obama administration official said on Monday. The visit would follows elections in Lebanon in which a Western-backed coalition defeated Hizbullah and its Iranian- and Syrian-backed allies. The official said that Mitchell would visit Damascus and Beirut after meetings with Israeli and the Palestinian Authority leaders expected on Tuesday and Wednesday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because Mitchell's exact itinerary has not been finalized. The visits to Syria and Lebanon would be Mitchell's first to the two nations since he took his up his position as US special Mideast envoy.