Mitchell’s staple approach to solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict includes enthusiastic optimism that all problems are solvable. In this case, he realizes that deep mistrust and historical animosities are difficult to overcome, especially when the US makes demands of either side, such as a settlement freeze or cessation of violence against Israel. The departure of President Mubarak as a casualty in the Arab “Awakening” means a strong supporter of expanding negotiations is gone. Mitchell’s position is subsequently filled by a state department official. The next special Middle East negotiator appointed is Ambassador Martin Indyk when Palestinian-Israel talks resume at the end of July 2013.
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