- Barack Obama - George Mitchell - Israel - Israeli-Palestinian conflict - King Abdullah II of Jordan
AFP - The White House said Thursday that Middle East envoy George Mitchell will finalise steps all parties can take to pave the way for Israeli-Palestinian talks, in an upcoming visit to the region.
President Barack Obama unveiled the scope of Mitchell's mission in a telephone call to Jordan's King Abdullah II, two days after his Oval Office talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
"The President and the King agreed on the need to launch Israeli-Palestinian negotiations as soon as possible," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.
"They also agreed that all parties, Israel, the Palestinians and Arab states should take steps simultaneously to create a context in which these negotiations can succeed."
"The president said special envoy Mitchell will follow up with the parties in the next few weeks to finalize the steps that they would take and lay the groundwork for a resumption of negotiations."
Obama has been pressing Israel for a halt in settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank and has called on Arab states to make a series of minor concessions towards Israel to improve chances of a resumption of peace talks.