US Middle East envoy George Mitchell called on the region to "take responsibility" for relaunching the Arab-Israeli peace talks, during a brief visit to Cairo on Thursday. "The United States is asking all the parties, Israel, the Palestinians and Arab states to take responsibility for peace through actions that will help create a positive context for the relaunch of negotiations," Mitchell said after talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
For his part, Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said: "Cairo sees there is an effort being made and an attempt to place the foundations for negotiations." According to him, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas was expected in Cairo on Friday or Saturday for talks with Mubarak.
Mitchell arrived in Cairo after failing to reach a compromise on settlements from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.