Sunday, January 25, 2009

Peacemaker George Mitchell Headed to Israel

Bloomberg: President Barack Obama is sending George Mitchell, his Middle East envoy, to the troubled region this week as the new U.S. administration seeks to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians, a White House adviser said.

Mitchell is charged with the immediate task of facilitating a lasting cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian militant Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip. The former Senate Democratic leader will probably leave Washington tomorrow, according to the adviser, who asked not to be identified.

Obama has pledged to renew the U.S.’s broader commitment to the peace process, including a separate Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Mitchell, who has negotiating authority in his role as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s top diplomat for Mideast peace, is set to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Jan. 28, the Associated Press reported, citing an Israeli foreign ministry official it didn’t name.