US denies Mitchell offered resignation, but admits frustration

February 27, 2010

George Mitchell

A US State Department official has denied as “rumours” media reports that Special US Mideast envoy George Mitchell had offered his resignation.

“There appears to be a monthly rumour, story that George Mitchell is resigning. He is not, and he is on the job,” Philip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary, said at the Daily Press Briefing on Friday. “George Mitchell is determined. He is engaged in discussions with the Palestinians, with the Israelis, with others around the region. And we’re all looking for that formula that can open the door for talks to begin.”

Hadith An-Nass, a Nazareth-based daily, reported on Friday that Mitchell wanted to quit in frustration with the way the US administration has been handling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The paper, quoting an unnamed Arab political source, said that his decision stemmed partly from a perception of biased favour towards Israel by some US officials within the State Department and also from his own failure to advance the resumption of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

According to the report, the White House had turned down Mitchell’s request.

However, in the briefing, Crowley said that the US was frustrated because of the lack of progress.

“Are we frustrated? Sure, we’re frustrated… We want to see the parties get in negotiations. We want to see the parties taking steps that create an impetus that moves you towards negotiation, not unilateral steps that create either tension or obstacles that can inhibit the return to negotiations,” Crowley said. “We think that, as we’ve said many, many times, the issues that are complex, emotional, can only be resolved in dialogue between the parties, and the sooner they begin talks, the better,” he said at the briefing

Peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis were halted more than a year ago over the war in the Gaza Strip and have not resumed.


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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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