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Mitchell stresses two-state solution

U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell arrives in Tel Aviv on January 28, 2009. Mitchell, President Barack Obama's new Mideast envoy, seeks to boost a 10-day-old cease-fire with Gaza that was broken after a Palestinian bombing killed an Israeli soldier. (UPI Photo/Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv) | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/756ddd2630f5dfcbeef88a130beeb38d/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell arrives in Tel Aviv on January 28, 2009. Mitchell, President Barack Obama's new Mideast envoy, seeks to boost a 10-day-old cease-fire with Gaza that was broken after a Palestinian bombing killed an Israeli soldier. (UPI Photo/Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv) | License Photo

JERUSALEM, April 16 (UPI) -- U.S. envoy George Mitchell restated the U.S. commitment to Palestinian statehood after talks with an Israeli official who said he doesn't feel so obligated.

"The U.S. policy favors a two-state solution, which would have a Palestinian state living in peace alongside with the Jewish state of Israel," Mitchell said Thursday after meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has said his country isn't bound to a such a solution.

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Lieberman, raising a ruckus when he said Israel was not obligated a two-state solution as outlined during talks in Annapolis, Md., said Mitchell also spoke about "close cooperation," The Jerusalem Post reported.

"We are looking forward to the next meeting and some really deep dialogue," Leiberman said.

Leiberman's office said the foreign minister told Mitchell that, "thus far, the traditional approach has not brought any results or solutions."

Earlier, Israeli President Shimon Peres told Mitchell that reports suggesting Israel was prepping for a possible strike on Iran were false, Ynetnews.com reported. Peres said a resolution to Iran's nuclear aspirations was "not a military one."

However, he urged the Obama administration to proceed with caution in thawing diplomatic relations with Iran until it could determine whether Iran's willingness to negotiate on its nuclear program is sincere.

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