Septet Meets to Discuss New Mitchell Proposal
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the ‘Septet’ – the Inner Cabinet of seven leading ministers – met Thursday morning to discuss a new proposal by U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell regarding talks with the Palestinian Authority.
Mitchell, who arrived in the region on Monday to continue his shuttle diplomacy efforts, has allegedly recommended a parallel plan that will keep the sides apart for the next six weeks, similar to his 2009-2010 “proximity talks.”
The separate but parallel talks are to be conducted by the United States with both sides, and will deal with security and borders, among other issues.
Mitchell met Wednesday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Mousa in Cairo, from where he also spoke with Netanyahu and Abbas by phone.
“In the days ahead our discussions with both sides will be substantive, two-way conversations with an eye towards making real progress in the next few months on the key questions of an eventual framework agreement,” Mitchell said, according to the AFP news service.
He added that the U.S. was hoping to secure an agreement that would “establish the fundamental compromises on all permanent status issues” and would “pave the way for a final peace treaty.”