President Barack Obama's Mideast envoy said Monday that Washington is not asking any Arab country to immediately achieve full normalization with Israel, but that this will come during the peace process.
George Mitchell said after talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that this normalization "will come further down the road in the process."
Mitchell said he plans to meet many Arab leaders "to encourage them to take genuine steps toward normalization" of ties with Israel. He also asked Palestinians to "refrain" from "words or actions that might make meaningful and productive negotiations impossible."
Arab League chief Amr Moussa said after meeting with Mitchell "the Arabs will not take any step of normalization as a sacrifice for Israel."
"There will be no Arab steps before Israel stops its policy of settlement building," he said.
Mitchell has opened a new round of peace efforts in the region, visiting Israel on Sunday and earlier, Syria. He left Cairo for Israel, saying he will visit Bahrain later.