U.S. special envoy George Mitchell postpones Mideast tour

16:22, March 16, 2010      

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Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) stands with U.S. Middle East Envoy George Mitchell in Jerusalem January 24, 2010, in this picture released by the U.S. Embassy. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

United States special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell has decided to postpone his visit to the region on Tuesday, reported local news service Ynet.

Mitchell, who announced last week that Israel and the Palestinians had agreed to hold indirect talks and he would act as the broker, held his visit in view of the tension between the U.S. President's Barack Obama administration and the Jewish state, which started when Israel Interior Ministry gave greenlight to a 1, 600 units housing plan in East Jerusalem, according to the report.

Israeli government's move threw grave doubt on Obama's peace efforts, threatening to wreck the Israeli-Palestinian indirect talks even before they begin.

Recent days have seen officials of Obama administration line up to condemn the Israeli project.

However, despite U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's demand that Israel reverse the decision, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood on his ground, saying on Monday that his government will continue construction in Jerusalem.

Source: Xinhua
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