by Wael Naguib
CAIRO, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Sunday met with U.S. Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu respectively to discuss the peace process in the region.
"President Mubarak's Sunday meetings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, U.S. Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu focused on efforts to push forward the peace process in the Middle East," Egypt's official MENA news agency quoted Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit as saying.
During Mubarak's meeting with Mitchell, who arrived here on Sunday for a brief visit, the two sides focused on the progress of proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians and discussed efforts to create favorable conditions for talks aiming to reach the two-state solution.
The U.S. envoy also briefed Mubarak on his talks with officials in Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan over the past two days.
Following his meeting with Abbas on Saturday in Ramallah, Mitchell said making peace in the Middle East is difficult, "we recognize the difficulties and the complexities involved in trying to realize this mission, but we are determined to continue our efforts," said Mitchell.
Also on Sunday, Mitchell held a meeting with Arab League (AL) Secretary General Amr Moussa.
According to MENA, Moussa and Mitchell reviewed the latest developments in the Middle East and efforts exerted to realize direct peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.
Moussa stressed the need to achieve tangible progress in issues of security and border in indirect Palestinian-Israeli negotiations before moving to direct talks, said MENA.
Later this month, AL will hold a meeting to discuss the proximity talks. In May, AL gave a green light to the U.S. offer to start the proximity talks.
Also on Sunday, Mubarak discussed with the visiting Palestinian President Abbas the Middle East peace process.
The summit talks took up efforts to promote peace process between the Palestinians and Israel and means to reach a settlement for Israeli-Palestinian conflict according to the two- state solution, Egyptian TV reported.
On Saturday, a senior member from Abbas' Fatah party rejected a request presented by Mitchell to start direct peace talks with Israel, saying the U.S. envoy has not carried any Israeli response regarding borders and security.
President Mubarak on Sunday received a message from U.S. President Barack Obama in which he reiterated his commitment to promote the peace process and establish an independent Palestinian state and urged Mubarak to continue efforts to achieve this goal.
Mubarak has also received a phone call from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the same issue, where he vowed to continue efforts to narrow the gap between the two sides.
The U.S. administration is eager to persuade the two sides to move to face-to-face negotiations.
- Mideast reaction to US-Isreal talks 2010-07-07
- US envoy visits Mideast for talks 2010-07-01
- Abbas urges Mideast peace efforts 2010-06-30
- Mideast Quartet welcomes Gaza policy to ease blockade 2010-06-22
- Chinese Mideast envoy meets Lebanese PM on bilateral ties, regional peace 2010-06-13