Page last updated at 10:46 GMT, Thursday, 21 January 2010

US Envoy George Mitchell arrives in Israel for talks

George Mitchell
George Mitchell will meet with Israeli and Palestinian delegations

US Middle East envoy George Mitchell is to meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials in an attempt to get the two sides to restart peace talks.

The former US Senator has already met leaders in neighbouring Lebanon and Syria this week.

The Palestinians have said they will not return to talks without a halt to Jewish settlement building.

The Israelis have offered a 10-month pause in building in the West Bank, not including East Jerusalem.

Mr Mitchell met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday.

Last week Mr Mitchell raised the possibility of the US cutting some financial support for Israel if peace talks did not progress, angering Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Since he came to office in 2009, President Barack Obama has tried to get Israeli-Palestinian peace talks moving, but with little success.

Attempts to bring both parties to the table last September were unsuccessful.

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