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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Remarks After Meeting With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

George Mitchell
Special Envoy for Middle East Peace 
July 28, 2009


PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Senator Mitchell and I have had a productive meeting – a long meeting between us and then with a group. I think we are making progress towards achieving an understanding that would enable us to continue and in fact -- complete a peace process that we will establish between us, with our Palestinian neighbors and ultimately with the entire region. I look forward to continuing this towards success.

Thank you.

SENATOR MITCHELL: Thank you, Prime Minister. I would like to thank the Prime Minister for his courtesy in seeing us and devoting so much time to our discussions. As I indicated to him privately and I have said on many occasions publicly, President Obama’s vision is of a comprehensive peace in the Middle East which includes peace between Israel and the Palestinians, between Syria and Israel and between Israel and Lebanon, and also the full normalization of relations between Israel and all of its neighbors in the region. That is our objective and it is to that which we have committed ourselves fully. I share the sentiments expressed by the Prime Minister that the meeting was very productive and conducted in a cordial atmosphere as is the case when friends and allies are discussing important issues. We have made good progress and we look forward to continuing our discussions to reach the point that the Prime Minister described in which we can all look forward to achieve the comprehensive peace that I have described as President Obama’s vision but I know also is shared by the Prime Minister and by all the people of this region. That is the only way that everyone in the region is going to be able to realize -- the full opportunity for security, justice and prosperity for all.

Thank you all very much for coming. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister - again - for your courtesy. I look forward to meeting you again.

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: I want to say that together with the political efforts we are making here, we are continuing our efforts to make life easier for the Palestinians. I am going to be going from here to the Allenby Bridge to extend the hours of passage of goods and people on that bridge. This is part of the policy of working parallel, top down politically and from the bottom up economically, and I think this is a winning formula for peace.

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