U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell and Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu say they made progress in talks Tuesday aimed at
establishing peace in the Middle East.
The two men discussed the dispute over Israeli settlements in the West
Bank during their meeting in Mr. Netanyahu's office, but they provided
no details after the talks.
Washington says Israel must freeze settlement construction to promote
peace, but Israel says it must continue building to allow for the
settlements' "natural growth."
Both Mitchell and Mr. Netanyahu said they would continue to work toward an agreement to end the Israeli-Arab conflict.
Mitchell's meeting with Mr. Netanyahu is part of a new U.S. diplomatic
push to promote peace in the Middle East. U.S. National Security
Adviser James Jones is due to meet with Israeli and Palestinian
And U.S. President Barack Obama's advisor, Dennis Ross, is also visiting Israel this week.
Mitchell's regional tour included stops in Syria, Egypt and the
Palestinian territories during the past four days. He said he asked
Arab leaders in the region to take genuine steps toward normalizing
ties with Israel.
Separately, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates was in Israel Monday for talks with Israeli officials.