Netanyahu meets Mitchell, says still committed to peace process
Israel remains committed to getting a peace deal with the Palestinians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, as he met US Middle East Envoy George Mitchell in the region to try and end the impasse caused by the end of a freeze on construction in Israeli West Bank settlements, DPA reported.
"We are committed and I am committed to trying to get a peace agreement that will secure Israel's security and other vital national interests," Netanyahu told reporters as he was about to meet US envoy George Mitchell in Caesarea, north of Tel Aviv.
"That is my goal and that is our policy and I look forward to continuing it ... because we have an historic mission to continue those good talks, to arrive at an historic peace."
The recently-renewed direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been placed in limbo due to the end, at midnight last Sunday, of Israel's 10-month partial moratorium on construction at its West Bank settlements.
Palestinians said they would not continue the talks if the freeze was not extended, but so far have made no official announcement, and the US is trying desperately to broker a compromise which would allow the negotiations to continue.
Mitchell, who meets the Palestinian leadership on Thursday, said as he met Netanyahu that the US remains undeterred in its goal of achieving a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace.
"We are not deterred. We are, to the contrary, determined more than ever to proceed to realise the common objective, which we all share, of a Middle East that is at peace with security and prosperity for the people of Israel, the Palestinians, and for all the people in the region," he said.
"We will continue our efforts in that regard, undeterred and undaunted by the difficulties, the complexities, or the bumps in the road," he added.