Mitchell Pushes Two-State Solution in Israel

Palestinians must first accept Jewish state, Netanyahu responds
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2009 3:49 PM CDT
Mitchell Pushes Two-State Solution in Israel
US Middle East envoy George Mitchell, left, shakes hands with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman after their meeting in Jerusalem today.   (AP Photo)

The Obama administration’s envoy to the Middle East told the Israeli government today that Washington will “vigorously pursue” the creation of a Palestinian state, Reuters reports. George Mitchell stated America’s purpose as a means to organize statehood talks with Israel; PM Benjamin Netanyahu said it would first be necessary for Palestinians to recognize and accept that Israel is a Jewish state.

“Israel expects the Palestinians to first recognize Israel as a Jewish state before talking about two states for two peoples,” Netanyahu reportedly told Mitchell. Netanyahu’s right-wing government is expected to balk at the prospect of starting the peace process again—Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman recently called the 2007 Annapolis talks a “dead end.” (Read more Israel stories.)

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