Mitchell, Netanyahu fail to reach settlement deal
American Middle East envoy George Mitchell met Israel's prime minister for a second time in two days on Wednesday in an attempt to reach a deal on settlement halt in order to restart peace talks. According to the AP, Mitchell met with Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem a day after shuttling between the Israeli premier and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, calling on both sides to show "responsibility for peace."
Wednesday's talks ended without reaching a compromise. A statement from Netanyahu's office says the two men agreed to meet for a third time this week on Friday.
"We've been asking all of the parties to take the responsibility for peace through concrete action in order to create an encouraging context for the prompt resumption and early conclusion of negotiations," the US official said after talks with Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
"We hope to bring this phase of our efforts to a positive conclusion in the coming weeks," he said.
On Monday, Netanyahu repeated that he had no intention of implementing a complete freeze in the occupied West Bank, saying any halt would be temporary, would not extend to east Jerusalem, and would exclude some 2,500 units already under construction.
Shortly after arriving for his latest regional trip, Mitchell said Washington shared a "sense of urgency" for peace talks to resume before the end of September.