Mitchell holds talks in Beirut, Damascus: US opposes naturalisation of Palestinians
US Mideast envoy George Mitchell on Wednesday met with Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and conveyed his country's commitment to the restart the Middle East peace process and support Lebanon's independence. "Senator Mitchell conveyed the commitment of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to comprehensive peace in the Middle East, which includes peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel and Syria, and Israel and Lebanon and the full normalisation of relations between Israel and the Arab states," the US embassy in Lebanon said in a statement.
It added that the US envoy in his meeting with Prime Minister Saad Hariri late Tuesday stressed that the USA would not support the full naturalisation in Lebanon of the 250,000 Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon. "Senator Mitchell reiterated that Lebanon would play a key role in the long-term effort to build lasting and comprehensive peace and stability in the Middle East region and that there would not be a lasting solution reached at Lebanon's expense," the statement said. According to press reports, the American official told the Lebanese leaders that he is making efforts to revive negotiations on the Palestinian-Israeli, Syrian-Israeli and Lebanese-Israeli tracks.
Mitchell was headed to Damascus following his meeting with Sleiman.