US Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell arrived in Lebanon late Wednesday for talks with President Michel Suleiman.
Mitchell arrived in Beirut following two days of talks with Israeli and
Palestinian officials, which failed to resolve differences over halting
Israeli settlement construction.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly described Mitchell's meetings
with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Palestinians as "good."
Kelly said he believed Mitchell made progress in efforts to get formal peace talks going again, but more meetings are needed.
Kelly added that the U.S. envoy will return to Jerusalem Friday for
another round of talks with Mr. Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas.
The United States has been trying to arrange a three-way meeting with
Palestinian and Israeli leaders during next week's United Nations
General Assembly in New York.
Palestinians have said they will participate only if Israel stops
building settlements on land that Palestinians want for a state.
Washington also supports a construction freeze in the occupied West
Bank and East Jerusalem.
But Israeli officials have said they are only prepared to reduce
construction in the West Bank settlements for a limited period. They
said East Jerusalem is not a settlement and building there will
Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast
war. It says construction must continue in the occupied territories to
accommodate natural population growth.