US envoy renews push for peace talks
US Middle East envoy George Mitchell has embarked on a fresh attempt to restart long-stalled talks between the Israeli regime and the Palestinians.
Mitchell is currently in al-Quds (Jerusalem) and is scheduled to meet Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah later on Friday.
Mitchell held several hours of talks in al-Quds with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, though no details about the meetings have been disclosed.
Both men are scheduled to meet again on Thursday.
Meanwhile, US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters in Washington that Mitchell — who arrived in the region on Monday — hoped to see indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians resume before he wraps up his visit on Sunday.
Both sides have expressed doubts that the negotiations would lead to major progress toward ‘peace’.
The so-called proximity talks came to a halt soon after they were launched in March, as Netanyahu announced plans to build 1,600 new units for settlers in East al-Quds.
The plan angered the Palestinian side, which regards East al-Quds as the capital of its future state.