Following the meetings in Washington, Mitchell will travel on Sunday to Paris and Brussels for meetings with his counterparts from the "Quartet" of Middle East peacemakers (the US, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia )and European diplomats before a forthcoming visit to the region.
During his Europe visit, Mitchell expected carry letters of "guarantees" outlining the US position to both Palestine and Israel. According to these "guarantees", Washington will consider the Palestinian demand for a return to the pre-1967 borders s and a full halt to expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jeruslaem. Israel's concern over retention of sovereignty over some of its settlements and a limited "right of return" of Palestinians into Israel will also be guaranteed by Washington.
On Wednesday evening, Mitchell appeared on the US Public Broadcasting System. In the transcript of the interview, this passage jumps out. Referring to Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's recent statement that there could be no peace within two years, Mitchell said:
We think that the negotiation should last no more than two years, once begun we think it can be done within that period of time. We hope the parties agree. Personally I think it can be done in a shorter period of time.
Mitchell added that Israel also must advance negotiations with Syria.