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George Mitchell, the US special envoy to the Middle East, met Benyamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, and Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister, on Thursday to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how to resolve it.
George Mitchell reiterated Washington's support for a two-state solution but the new Israeli government, known for its right-wing ultra-nationalist stance, has not yet endorsed the idea.
Lieberman said the diplomatic process was at a "dead end" and a new approach was needed. The Israelis want to focus future peace negotiations on economic and security matters only.
This so-called "economic peace" has been rejected by the Palestinian leaders who say US-backed talks with Israel can not resume until Netanyahu commits to the idea of statehood.
What can Mitchell do to kickstart the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process? Can the US envoy change the political landscape? What is the future of the Middle East peace process with a new US administration, a new and strong right-wing Israeli government, and a weak Palestinian leadership?
Presenter Kamahl Sanatmaria is joined by ambassador David Mack, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, Mustafa Barghouthi, a Palestinian legislator and secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative, and Shmuel Sandler, a senior research associate at Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA).
This episode of Inside Story aired from Thursday, April 16, 2009.