U.S. Mideast envoy says talks with Israeli PM "productive"

08:05, April 26, 2010      

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U.S. special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell said on Sunday his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is "productive and positive," reported local news service Ynet.

In a statement released after the talks, Mitchell implied he will return to the region next week to further push forward the Israeli- Palestinian peace process, creating the atmosphere that would enable indirect negotiations between the two sides to start.

Mitchell, who arrived in Israel on Thursday, met with senior Israeli and Palestinian officials over the weekend. After his Friday meeting with Netanyahu, both sides did not reveal any progress in regard to the Middle East peace process.

A two-hour meeting held in Ramallah between the American envoy and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas over resuming peace talks also ended without achieving any progress.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians are not going to be launched within the coming days.

Mitchell is in a fresh effort for the resumption of the U.S.- brokered Israeli-Palestinian indirect peace talks. However, his efforts were in doubt after Israeli government declined the United States' demand of a construction freeze in East Jerusalem.

The Palestinians have insisted not resuming negotiations before the complete cessation of Israel's construction in Jewish settlements in the West Bank as well as in East Jerusalem, where the Palestinians see as the capital of their future state.



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