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Mitchell meets Abbas in Ramallah

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Mitchell meets Abbas in Ramallah

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US envoy George Mitchell has met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah – the political capital of the West Bank.

It is the first time the two have got together since indirect peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians began earlier this month.

After the meeting, Mitchell headed to east Jerusalem, where Palestinian officials gave him their take on the situation on the ground.

Mitchell plans to shuttle between Jerusalem, Ramallah and Washington as part of the so-called proximity talks launched on May the 9th.

He met Israeli Defence Secretary Ehud Barak on Tuesday and has plans for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday.

The proximity talks initiative collapsed within days in March when Israel announced plans to build 1,600 settler homes in east Jerusalem.

The Palestinians eventually re-agreed to take part after the US promised the project would be frozen.