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US envoy makes first visit to Israel

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US envoy makes first visit to Israel

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America’s special Middle East envoy has held talks with Israel’s ultra-nationalist Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman for the first time.
 
Speaking after the meeting, George Mitchell reaffirmed Washington’s desire for the creation of a separate Palestinian state.
 
‘‘I reiterated… to the foreign minister, that US policy favours, with respect to the Palestinian Israeli conflict, a two-state solution which would have a Palestinian state living in peace alongside the Jewish state of Israel,’‘ Mitchell said.
 
The comments threaten to put the Obama administration on a collision course with Israel’s new government, which has so far refused to commit to the establishment of a Palestinian state.
 
The talks came as dozens of people gathered in the Gaza Strip and West Bank calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.