United States President Barack Obama wants "immediate" talks between the Palestinians and Israel to forge a comprehensive Middle East peace agreement, U.S. envoy George Mitchell said on Monday.
"The President has told me to exert all efforts to create the circumstance when the parties can begin immediate discussions," Mitchell told reporters at the start of a Palestinian donors' conference in the Norwegian capital.
Mitchell, who is en route to the Middle East, said the aim of such talks was "a comprehensive peace and normalization of relations" between Israel and its neighbors, which would also serve "the security interests of the United States."
Mitchell said the purpose of the donors' meeting was to "provide support for the Palestinian authority" and pave the way for a two-state solution with Israel.
"It's important that there is a building of institutions and governmental capacity so that at an early time there can be an independent and viable Palestinian state," Mitchell said.
Netanyahu announced Sunday that he would deliver a major address on his foreign policy next week. The decision comes in the wake of U.S. pressure over the peace process with the Palestinians and Obama's address to the Muslim world last week.