Mitchell offers optimism on Mideast talks

July 17, 2010 at 11:59 AM
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RAMALLAH, West Bank, July 17 (UPI) -- U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell says he will be updating nations in the region on his latest round of contacts with Israel and the Palestinians.

Mitchell, who is working to set up direct talks between the two adversaries, said Saturday his latest visit to the Palestinians was candid and productive.

"We recognize the difficulties and complexities involved in trying to realize this vision but we are determined to continue our efforts," Mitchell said in a statement.

Mitchell was in Ramallah Saturday to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whom CNN said has so far refused to meet with Israeli President Binyamin Netanyahu.

Mitchell has been engaged in a round of shuttle diplomacy aimed at eventually reaching a comprehensive peace deal for the Middle East that would ideally include a two-state solution to the Palestinian quandary as well as normalized and peaceful relations among Israel and its neighbors.

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