AFP - US special envoy George Mitchell is due to leave North Africa on Wednesday for Israel and the Palestinian territories as he pursues efforts to promote a two-state solution in the Middle East.
State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters that Mitchell would travel later Tuesday to the Tunisian capital Tunis following his visits to Morocco and Algeria.
After his meetings in Tunis, Senator Mitchell will travel Wednesday to Israel for a day of meetings with the new Israeli government on Thursday, Wood said.
He will travel to the Palestinian West Bank capital of Ramallah "for a day of meetings with Palestinian leaders on Friday," Wood added.
He will leave the same day for Egypt to consult with leaders there, according to the spokesman.
Mitchell said after talks with Moroccan Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi-Fihri in Rabat that President Barack Obama's administration backed a two-state solution, something endorsed by his predecessor George W. Bush.
"In the case of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we believe that the two-state solution, two states living side by side in peace, is the best and the only way to resolve this conflict," said Mitchell.
He said he would push that objective during his two-week visit to the region, which includes meetings with officials from Israel, the Palestinian territories, Egypt, the Gulf states as well as north Africa.
Mitchell's visit to the region is his first since Israel's right-leaning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office. The US senator is President Barack Obama's special envoy for Middle East peace.