Mitchell. Visiting Syria
Photo: Guy Assayag
Clinton and Abbas in Ramallah
Photo: AP

Mitchell: US committed to Israel-Syria peace effort

US special envoy meets Syrian President Assad in Damascus, says 'effort to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in no way conflicts with our goal of comprehensive peace.' In Amman, Clinton expresses optimism on peace talks

US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Thursday and stressed the United States' commitment to achieveing a peace agreemen between Israel and Syria


"Our effort to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in no way contradicts or conflicts with our goal of comprehensive peace including peace between Israel and Syria," he told reporters after meeting with Assad.


"We believe strongly that a foundation of good faith negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis can and should support the entire structure of comprehensive peace," he added.


Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Amman for a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah after meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.


Speaking in Amman, she said she is convinced that Netanyahu and Abbas are trying to seek common ground.


"They are committed and they have begun to grapple with the hard but necessary questions," she said, shortly before leaving for the US. "I am convinced that this is the time and these are the leaders to achieve the result we all seek." 


A statement issued by the palace noted that the King has stressed to Clinton the importance of the US administration's support in efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian solution and achieve a two-state solution. He also noted that the only way to secure stability in the region is by creating an independent Palestinian state to peacefully co-exist alongside Israel.


The European Union joined the US and the Palestinians on Thursday in urging Israel to extend the construction moratorium in the West Bank, diplomatic sources said as European foreign ministers met in Brussels.


'Peace with Lebanon, Syria possible'

Earlier on Thursday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited the Israel Defense Forces post on the border with Lebanon and expressed his hope that the explosive region would turn into a border of peace. Alongside the IDF's alertness, we plan to make peace," Barak stressed.


"We are in the midst of talks with the Palestinians and hope to overcome the obstacles. I believe peace with Lebanon and Syria is possible as well, and we must not lose hope for one minute."


Also Thurday, the London-based Arabic-language al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported that Hillary Clinton has suggested a compromised according to which Israel will prolong the settlement freeze by three months and the time period will be used by both parties to reach an agreement on the border issues.


Reuters and AFP contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 09.16.10, 18:19
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