The US envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell is stepping down for personal reasons. His resignation has been accepted by the White House.
President Obama, who appointed the 77-year-old former senator, praised his “tireless” efforts and “immeasurable contribution” to the peace process.
Despite having brokered the Northern Ireland peace deal in the 1990s, two years of toing and froing yielded little in terms of bringing Palestinians and Israelis together.
Washington’s last move foundered on Israel’s refusal to extend a moratorium on Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Mitchell’s resignation comes a week before Obama is due to make a major speech on the Middle East and the uprisings in the Arab world.