U.S. Envoy Zinni Leaves the Region, Decides No Point in Continuing His Efforts
The American envoy to the Middle East, retired marine general Anthony Zinni will not return to the region in the near future. On Friday, Zinni visited Jordan and is planned to meet president Mubarak in Cairo on Saturday. From Egypt he will head to Washington for consultations and the Christmas holiday. According to Haaretz, it is unclear when or whether Zinni will come back to the region.
Zinni has decided there was no point in continuing his attempts to broker a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians after a Thursday night meeting with Israel’s Prime Minster Ariel Sharon.
U.S. Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs William Burn also cancelled his tour to Israel.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Friday that Zinni was sent to the region to try to achieve a cease-fire, and that "he was not sent to the region forever."
The U.S. administration assesses that the odds of reaching a cease-fire are steadily diminishing and thus it must reconsider its most recent Middle East initiative.
Zinni and Burns met Friday with Jordan's King Abdullah II. Following this meeting, the king stated that Washington's role was vital to ensure stability in the region.
Zinni and Burns commented Washington remained committed to achieving peace in the Middle East and that the American administration will continue to deal with Palestinian leader, Yassir Arafat as the representative of the Palestinian people. (Albawaba.com)
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