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Mitchell meets with Netanyahu

Sept. 29, 2010 at 10:16 PM

JERUSALEM, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell met Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and said he is "determined" to keep peace talks going.

Mitchell, a former U.S. Senate majority leader who was involved in the peace process in Northern Ireland, plans to get together Thursday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Voice of America reported.

Israel's moratorium on construction in West Bank settlements has expired, threatening to derail negotiations. Mitchell has been trying to persuade Netanyahu to extend the moratorium.

"We knew this would be a road with many bumps and there have been many bumps and that continues to this day," Mitchell said. "But we are not deterred. We are, to the contrary, determined more than ever to proceed to realize the common objective, which we all share, of a Middle East that is at peace with security and prosperity for the people of Israel, for Palestinians, and for all the people in the region and we will continue our efforts in that regard, undeterred and undaunted by the difficulties, the complexities or the bumps in the road."

Israel has proposed a partial moratorium, with construction in settlements it believes will be incorporated into its territory in a final settlement.

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