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US Special Envoy to Mideast Resigns

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TEHRAN, May 15 (ICANA) – Former US Senator George Mitchell has announced his resignation as the US special envoy to the Middle East at the time of uprisings in the region.
Sunday, May 15, 2011 10:41:12 AM
US Special Envoy to Mideast Resigns

Mitchell's resignation came on Friday after the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks failed to get rekindled, and at a critical time in the Middle East embroiled in the turmoil.

US President Barack Obama accepted the resignation and called Mitchell "a tireless advocate for peace," the Associated Press reported.

In a short letter to Obama, Mitchell said that he took the diplomatic job intending to only serve two years.

"I strongly support your vision of comprehensive peace in the Middle East and thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of your administration," Mitchell wrote.

David Hale, Mitchell's deputy, will serve as acting envoy, the US president said in a statement.

Obama will deliver a speech next Thursday at the State Department about his administration's views of developments in the region, ahead of a visit to Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mitchell served in the Senate as a Democrat from Maine from 1980 to 1995, the final six years as majority leader. In 2000-2001, he headed a fact-finding committee on Middle East violence that called for commitments by Israel and the Palestinian Authority to immediately and unconditionally end their fighting. The panel urged a cooling-off period and other steps toward peace, but it did not lead to lasting results.

Mitchell also led the 2007 investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs in major league baseball. Before that, he was chairman of The Walt Disney Co. from 2004-2006.

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