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US Mideast Envoy Ends Mission; No Deal on Resuming Israeli-Palestinian Talks


US Mideast Envoy Ends Mission; No Deal on Resuming Israeli-Palestinian Talks

US Mideast Envoy Ends Mission; No Deal on Resuming Israeli-Palestinian Talks

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U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell has ended his latest mission to the region with no agreement on resuming Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Mitchell issued a statement Sunday saying he will return to the region next week after holding what he called three days of "positive and productive" talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. He held a second round of talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday, after separate meetings Friday with Mr. Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Israeli prime minister said Israel and the United States want to restart peace talks immediately, and that he hopes the Palestinians share the same goal.

Palestinian officials said Mr. Abbas will meet with Arab League representatives on Saturday to discuss whether he should agree to hold indirect talks with Israel through U.S. mediation.

Mr. Abbas has refused to begin peace talks with Israel unless it stops all construction of homes for Jewish settlers in occupied East Jerusalem, claimed by Palestinians as a future capital.

Israel says East Jerusalem neighborhoods are not settlements and claims a right to build freely in those areas, which it views as part of its capital.

Palestinian officials also said U.S. President Barack Obama has invited Mr. Abbas to a meeting sometime in May. But they said no exact date has been set and no formal invitation has been issued.

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