U.S. Middle East envoy to meet Netanyahu, Abbas

10:57, March 21, 2010      

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Visiting U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell said Saturday here that he would fly to Israel and Palestine to meet with their leaders respectively in the following two days.

"I will leave here immediately for the Middle East and meet Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem tomorrow and Chairman Abbas on Monday," Mitchell said at a news conference in Paris after talks with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.

"We believe that best way to proceed in Middle East is to encourage the prime parties to enter into direct negotiation to bring about an agreement that will provide peace and prosperity and opportunity for all the people in the region," Mitchell said with Kouchner by his side.

Israel announced plans to build 1,600 new Jewish settlements last week during the U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit there, which the United States regarded an insult to U.S. effort in the region and thus delayed a following visit by Mitchell.

During his swift visit in Paris, Mitchell didn't mention the setback of U.S. diplomatic efforts concerning the region but underlined the importance of "indirect negotiation."

"Conductive diplomacy, negotiation through the media is really productive," he said his personal experience well proved the point.

After Netanyahu's announcement of settlement expansion, U.S. State Department said the United States would review Israeli response and continue to discuss with both sides to keep proximity talks moving forward.

Source: Xinhua
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