Netanyahu and Mitchell 'can't agree on settlements'

By Jessica Elgot, September 15, 2009
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Binyamin Netanyahu met with US envoy George Mitchell

Binyamin Netanyahu met with US envoy George Mitchell

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US envoy George Mitchell have failed to reach any agreement over settlement construction in the West Bank.

The two men held a two-hour meeting in Jerusalem, but Mr Mitchell has been forced to extend his stay in Israel until Thursday when the two will meet again for further discussions.

They had hoped to reach an agreement in time to announce plans for a potential settlement construction freeze at the meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York next week.

Mr Mitchell, and US president Barack Obama are said to be keen to agree a meeting in New York involving Mr Netanyahu, Mr Mitchell and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has demanded a settlement freeze before any peace negotiations can begin.

Mr Netanyahu will not commit to holding a meeting with Mr Abbas unless some agreement is reached with the US envoy.

Mr Mitchell will now meet with Mr Abbas in Ramallah to discuss what progress has been made.

Last updated: 1:46pm, September 15 2009