The Israeli - Palestinian peace talks on Wednesday ended with no agreement on the most pressing issue: Jewish settlements. Former Sen. George Mitchell, the U.S. envoy for the Mideast region, emerged from an evening session between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to saying the talks had been encouraging.
"A serious and substantive discussion is well under way," Mitchell said, according to the AP.
Mitchell said no one should expect an easy road ahead, but he contended important progress was being made. "The two leaders are not leaving the tough issues to the end of their discussions; they are tackling upfront — and did so this evening — the issues that are at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," he said. "We take this as a strong indicator of their belief that peace is possible and of their desire to conclude an agreement."