Mitchell fails to bridge gaps between Abbas, Netanyahu

Published September 18th, 2009 - 12:29 GMT

USA's special Mideast envoy declined Friday to bridge the gaps between Israelis and Palestinians on the terms of renewing peace talks, the chief Palestinian negotiator said. According to American officials, mediation efforts wii go on.


The U.S. envoy, George Mitchell, held a second meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday. The differences cast doubt about President Obama's plans to revive Mideast peace efforts, including the possibility of holding a trilateral meeting with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders next week in New York.


The key disputes are over Israeli settlement expansion and whether peace talks should begin where they left off.


PA leader Mahmoud Abbas told Mitchell on Friday that he will not resume talks without a complete freeze, according to Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, cited by the AP. "We once again reiterated that there are no middle ground solutions for settlements," Erekat told reporters. "A settlement freeze is a settlement freeze."



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