Mitchell in Beirut: Lebanon to be part of regional peace
America will not push for a peace deal in the Middle East at the expense of Lebanon, President Obama's Middle East envoy George Mitchell said on a visit to Beirut on Friday. Mitchell, who met separately with Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, conveyed, according to AFP: "Lebanon will play a key role in the long term effort to build lasting, comprehensive peace and stability in the Middle East."
He added: “Clearly, there can be no lasting solution reached at Lebanon’s expense and we look forward to continuing to work with Lebanon to build this solution.”
Mitchell explained that his latest tour of the region as well as previous trips, were clear indication that Obama administration was committed to "actively and aggresively" seek peace in the region.
According to him, this quest includes backing the creation of an independent Palestinian state as soon as possible.
On his part, the Lebanese president stated his country was prepared to be part of any international peace conferences based on the Saudi-sponsored 2002 Arab peace initiative.
From Beirut Mitchell continued to his next stop - Damascus, where he was dur to meet senior Syrian officials.