The U.S. State Department stated Tuesday that U.S. Middle East Peace Envoy, George Mitchell, will be meeting Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and several Arab and Israeli leaders during his Wednesday and Thursday tour in the region. U.S. State Department spokesperson, Philip Crowley, stated that Mitchell will likely stay in the Middle East in order to hold further talks with leaders in the Middle East before heading back to Washington.
Mitchell arrived in Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening and intends to hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, before heading to Ramallah for a Thursday meeting with Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas.
He will attempt to create a momentum for peace talks especially after Israel decided to resume all settlement activities in the occupied West Bank, as the temporary freeze on settlement activities expired several days ago.
Crowley stated that the United States is seeking a way to help both parties (Israel and the Palestinian Authority) to resolve this issue and to resume the talks.
He also hinted to the state of mistrust between the two sides that mounted through years of clashes, and said that this is one of the obstacles that obstruct the start of direct talks.