US envoy Mitchell in Ramallah for talks with Abbas

June 10th, 2009 - 5:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Jerusalem/Ramallah, June 10 (DPA) Visiting US peace envoy George Mitchell arrived in the West Bank city of Ramallah Wednesday for a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, on the second day of talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
Mitchell met Tuesday with Israeli leaders, including a four-hour-long parley with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the evening.

Netanyahu’s office did not release any details of the meeting, except for a brief communique which stated that “the meeting was friendly, positive and encompassed the full range of issues on the agenda.”

Although Mitchell took pains in his public appearances Tuesday to emphasise the US commitment to Israeli security and to reassure that the two allies remained friends, his talks have been overshadowed by a dispute over Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank.

The US wants all Israeli settlement activity frozen. Israel, however, has said that while it would not establish new settlements, it would build in existing ones to accommodate so-called natural growth.

“The effort is to find common ground and to work together,” Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev said Wednesday.

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