Mitchell returns to region to promote Palestinian - Israeli talks
The U.S. special envoy for Middle East peace will return to the region over the weekend to see if Israel and the Palestinians are prepared to launch indirect peace talks, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday. George Mitchell's visit follows a declaration of support by Arab League ministers for such talks.
"We were very pleased by the endorsement that came out of Cairo today," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters in Brasilia. "(We) are very committed to try to bring about the two-state solution and we hope the proximity talks will be the beginning of that process."
"This is positive," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters, according to Reuters. "Senator Mitchell will return to the region in the next few days to continue our efforts to relaunch negotiations as soon as possible."
Meanwhile, Hamas voiced his objection to the expected talks. Ezzet Al-Resheq, political bureau member of Hamas, said that Hamas rejects direct and indirect talks with Israel, because such talks are futile and lead to nothing. He noted that Israel was imposing new conditions such as rejecting the right of return for Palestinian refugees, demanding recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and keeping Jerusalem out of the negotiations, describing as a “big sin” the return to negotiations in light of those new stands.
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