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US envoys face tough challenges

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US envoys face tough challenges


With a stated aim of achieving a lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, newly appointed US Middle East envoy Senator George Mitchell will be dispatched to the region “as soon as possible”.

Charged with actively and aggressively seeking an end to the conflict, Mitchell has impeccable credentials. He led negotiations that culminated in an end to the Troubles in Northern Ireland with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. “From my experience there (Northern Ireland) I formed the conviction that there is no such thing as a conflict that can’t be ended. Conflicts are created, conducted and sustained by human beings. They can be ended by human beings,” Mitchell said. The envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke is a former US Ambassador to the United Nations. He negotiated the 1995 Dayton Peace Accord that ended the Bosnian war. “In putting Afghanistan and Pakistan together under one envoy, we should underscore that we fully respect the fact that Pakistan has its own history, its own traditions and it is far more than the turbulent, dangerous tribal areas on its Western border,” Holbrooke said. Barack Obama has promised more non-military aid to Pakistan while Hillary Clinton has suggested a US envoy would need to shuttle between Pakistan and Afghanistan to help guide efforts in the border region between the two countries.

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