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U.S. Mideast envoy, Palestinian president meet

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Palestinian president, U.S. envoy George Mitchell meet in West Bank
  • NEW: Two-state solution is the "only viable resolution to this conflict," Mitchell says
  • Trip is designed to renew peace process between Israelis, Palestinians
  • Mitchell met with Israeli leaders on Tuesday
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JERUSALEM (CNN) -- U.S. envoy George Mitchell underscored Wednesday the Obama administration's support for a two-state solution in the volatile Middle East and called for a "prompt resumption" of talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

U.S. envoy George Mitchell talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday.

Mitchell, the Obama administration's special envoy to the Middle East, made the remarks after meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority's seat of government in the West Bank. He visited Abbas during a trip designed to renew the long-stalled peace process.

"From the standpoint of the United States, the president and the secretary of state have made our policy clear. The only viable resolution to this conflict is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states," Mitchell said to reporters after he met with Abbas.

"We all share an obligation to create the conditions for the prompt resumption and early conclusion of negotiations," Mitchell said. "We're now engaged in serious discussions with our Israeli, Palestinian and other regional partners to support this effort."

Mitchell's visit is a follow-up to President Obama's speech to the Muslim world last week in Cairo, Egypt, and part of his policy to pursue a "broad-based, comprehensive peace dealing with all the regional players."

"Israelis and Palestinians have a responsibility to meet their obligations under the Road Map. It's not just their responsibility. We believe it's in their interest as well. It's also in the interest of all of those who seek to promote peace -- Americans, Europeans, Arabs and others to support this effort through tangible steps and actions," Mitchell said.

He capped a day of meetings Tuesday with a four-hour visit with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two men covered a broad range of issues, the prime minister's spokesman said.

Mitchell played down tensions that have arisen between the United States and Israel in recent days -- particularly over Israel's recent settlement expansion as well as Netanyahu's position on Palestinian statehood.

Netanyahu, who took office in March, in the past has stated his opposition to an independent Palestinian state, and hasn't endorsed the idea.

Mitchell also will visit Lebanon and spend two days in Syria.

CNN's Shira Medding in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

All About DiplomacyMiddle East ConflictMahmoud AbbasIsrael

All About George MitchellPalestinian PoliticsIsrael

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