U.S. envoy arrives in Lebanon in latest Mideast peace push
George Mitchell to meet Lebanon president Suleiman in wake of recent meeting with Syria's Assad in Damascus.
U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell is scheduled to hold talks Friday with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and other top leaders, on ways to achieve a comprehensive resolution that will solve the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Mitchell arrived in Beirut late Thursday after holding talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem in Damascus.
Mitchell said that Washington wanted a comprehensive resolution of the Middle East conflict that included peace between Israel and Lebanon and between Israel and Syria.
Israel and the Palestinians kicked off a second round of peace talks this week, after relaunching U.S.-brokered direct negotiations on September 2 following a 20-month hiatus.
The official state-run Syrian Arab News Agency SANA had described the U.S.-led peace efforts as "a waste of time" and a vehicle "to sell off Palestinian rights."
"Peace cannot last unless it restores full rights to their owners in accordance with international resolutions," SANA quoted Assad as telling Mitchell.
Upon his arrival in Beirut late Thursday, Mitchell held talks with House Speaker Nabih Berri. He was accompanied by Maura Connelly, the new US ambassador to Lebanon who has assumed her duties earlier this week.
The meeting lasted for around one hour after which Mitchell left without making any statement.