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Mitchell resignation points to Obama failure, say Palestinians

Arab World Materials 14 May 2011 16:30
The resignation of George Mitchell, the United States special envoy to the Middle East, prompted Palestinians on Saturday to blame US President Barack Obama for Mitchell's failure in bridging the gap between Palestinians and Israelis

The resignation of George Mitchell, the United States special envoy to the Middle East, prompted Palestinians on Saturday to blame US President Barack Obama for Mitchell's failure in bridging the gap between Palestinians and Israelis , DPA reported

Obama announced on Friday Mitchell's resignation, after more than two years in the role, and said he will be replaced by his deputy, David Hale.

Hani Masri, an analyst and political columnist, told German Press Agency dpa that Mitchell resigned in apparent disgust with Obama's Middle East policy.

"Mitchell resigned because Obama would not take a firm stand on the conflict and present his own plan for a solution," he said. "He wanted Obama to announce an initiative for peace that would salvage what remained of the peace process."

Masri said Obama choose instead to listen to an advice from Dennis Ross, a long time member of the US Mideast peace team and Obama's envoy to Israel. Ross, said Masri, did not want Obama to get any more involved by presenting his own initiative out of concern that it would upset Israel.

He said Ross' view prevailed over Mitchell's desire to get more involved in the impasse, forcing the latter's resignation.

Masri added that he did not think Obama would say anything new when he makes his speech on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the situation in the Arab countries in general next week.

"His speech will be very general and wide-ranging to the point it will not say anything," he said, adding that "even if it had anything, most likely both sides are going to reject it."

The Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, urged the US to give the Middle East peace process a push forward.

Commenting on Mitchell's resignation, presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh Friday welcomed the appointment of David Hale as acting special envoy saying that "we welcome any US official envoy as long as the US remains committed to pushing forward the peace process."

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