Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell Visits Lebanon, Consults with Leaders

On January 19-20, 2010 Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell visited Lebanon as part of a visit to several countries in the region. In Lebanon, Senator Mitchell met with Lebanese government representatives, including President Michel Sleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and Foreign Minister Ali El-Chami to discuss the status of peace efforts and to solicit the Lebanese perspective. Senator Mitchell conveyed the commitment of President Obama and Secretary Clinton to comprehensive peace in the Middle East, which includes peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel and Syria, and Israel and Lebanon and the full normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab states. He reiterated that Lebanon would play a key role in the long-term effort to build lasting and comprehensive peace and stability in the Middle East region and that there would not be a lasting solution reached at Lebanon’s expense. Senator Mitchell reaffirmed the United States' commitment to a sovereign and independent Lebanon. As the Special Envoy, Mitchell confirmed to Prime Minister Hariri in their meeting last evening the U.S. will not support the forced naturalization of Palestinians in Lebanon.