US Middle East Envoy George Mitchell Meets With IDF Chief of the General Staff

Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi met with US Special Envoy George Mitchell, a representative of the Obama Administration

Date: 16/04/2009, 10:45 AM     Author: Cori Chascione

On Thursday, April 16, the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, met with US Special Envoy to the Middle East, George J. Mitchell, a representative of the Barack Obama Administration. The meeting took place in Tel Aviv and is a part of series of meetings between Mitchell and other Israeli leaders.

During the meeting, Mitchell and Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi discussed the various security challenges faced by the IDF (Zahal) and Israel, including Iranian nuclear development, the current situation in northern Israel, the Gaza Strip post-Operation Cast Lead, the smuggling of weapons and their use by terrorist organizations, and the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria.

Mitchell explained that over the course of his discussions with both Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi and other Israeli leaders, he outlined US policy regarding the region, expressing that it is within the national interest of the United States that there be a comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East.

Regarding the potential peace settlement, Mitchell explained that it should include “the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a two-state solution involving a Palestinian state living side by side and alongside the Jewish State of Israel-in peace, and hopefully, stability and prosperity.”

Mitchell also expressed a desire to make progress on this peace initiative during his current visit to the Middle East. “We are going to do all we can, through the rest of this visit and over the coming weeks and months, to further that objective, hopefully with the cooperation of many of our friends and allies,” he concluded.