Mitchell Returning to Middle East This Month

By Kate Barrett

Feb 3, 2009 10:50am

ABC News’ Jennifer Duck Reports: Middle East Envoy George Mitchell will travel again to the region this month. Mitchell just returned yesterday from his first trip to Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Europe.

"This is the first of what will be an ongoing high level of engagement by Senator Mitchell," Secretary Clinton said after a meeting with Mitchell at the State Department.

Clinton thanked Mitchell saying he "quickly sprang into action" and has spoken with leaders on "steps to attain a durable and sustainable ceasefire."

"I plan to establish a regular and sustained presence in the region," Mitchell said, explaining the situation is "complex and difficult" and there are "no easy or risk free courses of action."

Clinton was asked if there was a diplomatic path with Hamas. She responded that Hamas must renounce violence, recognize Israel and abide by past peace agreements.

"Hamas knows the conditions," Clinton said. "They must renounce violence, they must recognize Israel, they must agree to abide by prior agreements."

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