Official: George Mitchell, U.S. Middle East envoy, to resign
May 13th, 2011
12:00 PM ET

Official: George Mitchell, U.S. Middle East envoy, to resign

Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell is resigning as the Obama administration's Mideast envoy, a senior U.S. official told CNN Friday.

Mitchell, a former U.S. senator from Maine and prominent American diplomat, has served as President Barack Obama's point man in the region as the administration has tried to keep Arab-Israeli peace talks on track.

His resignation comes at a pivotal moment in the Arab world. Obama is scheduled to deliver an address next week on the "Arab Spring" - the uprisings that have shaken long-standing autocratic regimes across North Africa and the broader Middle East.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to visit Obama and deliver an address to Congress next week.

Mitchell was among the president's first appointments. He was named Mideast envoy on January 22, 2009, two days after Obama took office.

Among other things, Mitchell also played a key role in Clinton-era negotiations regarding the status of Northern Ireland that resulted in the Good Friday Peace Agreement.

Mitchell has repeatedly reaffirmed the importance of comprehensive peace in the Middle East, including Israeli-Palestinian agreement on a two-state solution and normalization of relations between Israel and both Syria and Lebanon.

soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Ancient Texan

    Could it be that Mitchell got a little exasperated at the confusing foreign policy of this administration. We seem to insult our friends, give consideration to our enemies that defy logic. Start another war in a country that isn't affecting us directly and is in civil war. None of our Business!. We don't even comment on the uprising in Syria.

    May 13, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. IKHAN

    @ Glazed and confused

    isn't it obvious?
    The reality on the ground is pertinent to George Mitchell's resignation. no matter what the official version would be, its clear that our 'Peace Initiative' was going nowhere and George was our point man.
    Israel's consistent refusal to our bleatings and international community's demands to freeze illegal settlements. The stranglehold on W.Bank, its oppressive policies are all stumbling blocks in the way of peace.
    We Americans wth the exception of a few who dared to go and see for themselves, some even losing their lives standing up to Israeli tanks, are always exposed to the propaganda portraying Israel as the victim. This sentiment again stands in the path to peace. As I said earlier thanks to the morally upstanding Jews both in Israel & here, Americans are slowly realizing the reality.
    All this is very relevant to Mitchell's resignation.

    May 13, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dazed and Confused

    No, it's not obvious.
    I don't suppose that it ever occurred to you that the man may be sick, or old, or both. Probably not, because that's an explanation that would make sense, given the information that was given here. No explanation was given for his resignation, so therefore, it MUST be because of underhanded political shenanigans.
    Oh, malarky! Let's find out WHY he resigned before going crazy with the political mumbo-jumbo!

    May 13, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lilli

      It was my first thought that he was either sick or had personal problems related to his age...he's certainly not a young man! He has been a devoted public servant for as long as I can remember–and that's a pretty long time considering my advanced age; so I don't think he would be retiring because he was fed up or exasperated at events in the Middle East.

      May 14, 2011 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ted

    The pro-arab/muslim faction would have everyone believe that Isreal is responsible for all the trouble in the middle east.This muslim propaganda.There has been blood shed in that region for centuries and if Isreal ceased to exist today the blood shed would continue for more centuries.Muslims have to blame someone for their complete failure at civility.They killed one another befor 1948 and continue to kill one another every day But now when Muslims killl muslims it's Isreals fault.It's the always someone elses fault, not the muslims..

    May 13, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. IKHAN

    We who are the ones finding faults and demons elsewhere all the time now faulting others for the same.

    Its not the muslims @ Ted, its the peace loving and courageous Jews both in Israel and USA who fed up of the policies of the Israeli regime are coming out now to stand up to them. Read my posts again.
    And they are now determined to be heard – Amen

    May 14, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
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