Mitchell: Obama wants to see ”immediate discussions” between Israel,Palestinians
Days following United States President Barak Obama's speech in Cairo about American and Muslim relations, former senator George Mitchell was sent to the region to encourage a restart to Middle East peace talks. The special U.S. envoy on Monday said it is his job to "exert all efforts to create the circumstance when the parties can begin immediate discussions."
Mitchell added the goal of such talks was "a comprehensive peace and normalisation of relations" between Israel and its neighbours, which would also serve "the security interests of the United States". "The president has told me to exert all efforts to create the circumstance when the parties can begin immediate discussions," he said in Norway, according to Reuters.
Mitchell said he wants to take advantage of the positive reaction from the Muslim world to President Obama's speech about a "new beginning" to American Muslim relations, and use that momentum to restart peace negotiations toward a two-state solution with Israel. At a Palestinian donor's conference in Oslo, Mitchell said it is in America's security interests to "provide support for the Palestinian authority [and its] governmental capacity so that at an early time there can be an independent and viable Palestinian state."
During his tour in the region, Mitchell plans to stop in Syria. According to him, he hopes to persuade Damascus to halt its alliance with Iran and use its power in the area to moderate Hamas.