x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Mitchell calls for 'peace' with Israel

The US envoy George Mitchell calls for Arab states to take "meaningful steps and important actions" to make peace with Israel.

The US Middle East envoy George Mitchell (right) talks during a news conference following his talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abu el-Gheit (left) in Cairo.
The US Middle East envoy George Mitchell (right) talks during a news conference following his talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abu el-Gheit (left) in Cairo.

The US envoy George Mitchell called today for Arab states to take "meaningful steps and important actions" to make peace with Israel, after talks with the Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Abul Gheit. Mr Mitchell arrived in Cairo from Israel and the Palestinian territories, reiterating Washington's position that a Palestinian state was the only viable answer to the Middle East conflict. "We are working hard to achieve our objective, a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, including a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel," Mr Mitchell told reporters.

This includes "peace between Israel and its other immediate neighbours and full normalisation of relations between Israel and all of the Arab nations as contemplated by the Arab peace initiative," he said. The 2002 initiative, backed by all 22 members of the Arab League, offers Israel full normalisation in return for a withdrawal from territory occupied in the 1967 Middle East war, a Palestinian state and an equitable solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.

"As President [Barack] Obama said here in Cairo just last week, the Arab states have an important role to play ... We regard the Arab peace initiative as an important proposal that we are trying to integrate into our effort. "Proposing the initiative was just the beginning. It brings with it responsibilities to join in taking meaningful steps and important actions that will help us move towards our objective."

*AFP