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Netanyahu and Mitchell in last meeting Photo: AFP
Netanyahu and Mitchell in last meeting Photo: AFP
 
 

Netanyahu plans meeting with Mitchell

Prime minister to head to Europe for round of talks with British counterpart Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Source tells Ynet meeting with US special Mideast envoy George Mitchell in London also scheduled

Roni Sofer
Published: 08.03.09, 14:30 / Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold an important meeting with US Mideast envoy George Mitchell at the end of the month, sources said.

 

Top sources in Jerusalem confirmed to Ynet that Netanyahu will meet with Mitchell in London, as part of the prime minister's European tour in which he will also meet with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

 

Foreign Ministry sources said the Prime Minister's Office was currently working on the details of the meeting with Mitchell in London. However, they said there was principle agreement on a date – August 26.

 

During the meeting, the two are slated to try and work out the issues that are yet to be solved, including talks with the Palestinians, the US's demand that settlements be frozen and outposts be removed, and joint statements on the outcome of the Fatah General Congress scheduled for Tuesday.

 

The political establishment sees no possibility of opening talks with the Palestinians before Netanyahu's trip to Europe. Sources believe that peace negotiations will be renewed after the UN General Assembly in September, in full coordination with the Americans.

 

The Netanyahu – Mitchell meeting is still awaiting final approval, but if it does take place, the Israeli prime minister will be accompanied by National Security Advisor Uzi Arad and Netanyahu's envoy on Palestinian affairs Attorney Yitzhak Molcho.

 

According to a Foreign Ministry source, the meeting will take place in England's capital on the second day of Netanyahu's stay in London. On his first day in England Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with his British counterpart.

 

Two days after the meeting with Mitchell, Netanyahu is slated to meet with German Chancellor Angel Merkel.

 

In his meetings with the British and German heads of state, Netanyahu is expected to address the Iranian matter, which he views as one of immediate urgency ahead of the General Assembly.

 

Netanyahu also plans to discuss the controversial topic of settlement construction with the European leaders as a follow up to his June meetings with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

 

Last month, Netanyahu met with Berlusconi and Sarkozy, who urged him to "Completely freeze construction in settlements," and to "immediately renew talks with the Palestinians". The Prime Minister's Office would not confirm the details of the meetings.

 

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