Mitchell back in Middle East in peace talks push
US envoy George Mitchell traveled back to the Middle East on Wednesday in a fresh attempt to push forward indirect peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, the US State Department said.
AFP - US envoy George Mitchell headed back to the Middle East on Wednesday in a new bid to advance indirect peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, the State Department said.
"He expects to have meetings with Israeli officials tomorrow (Thursday), Palestinian officials on Friday, and Egyptian officials on Saturday," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.
Mitchell, who was in Europe on family business, was due to arrive in Israel on Wednesday, a senior State Department official told reporters later on the condition of anonymity.
The Middle East envoy is scheduled will return to Washington after his stop in Egypt.
His visit comes after Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas met Wednesday with US President Barack Obama at the White House, where he secured a US pledge of 400 million dollars in new aid for the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The meeting included discussion of Israel's deadly May 31 raid on an aid flotilla seeking to break a blockade on the Gaza Strip, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to meet Obama later this month after abruptly postponing planned White House talks following the raid on the aid flotilla.
The Palestinian complain the US-brokered proximity talks with Israel are going nowhere.