Bethlehem: US Middle East envoy George
Mitchell warned on Thursday that the Gaza flotilla tragedy should
not be allowed to undermine the peace process.
"The tragedy... cannot be allowed to spiral out of
control and undermine the limited but real progress that has
been made," the visiting US official said in reference to
Israel`s commando raid on Gaza-bound aid ships that left
nine activists dead on Monday.
"The United states deeply regrets the tragic loss of life
and injuries suffered among those involved in the incident
aboard the Gaza-bound ships," he said at a conference on
investment in the Palestinian territories.
"What has happened makes your work here and moving
forward even more critical," he said at the conference in the
West Bank city of Bethlehem.
"As this conference makes clear, the Palestinian
Authority`s efforts are paying off, inspiring investor and
consumer confidence, locally and around the globe," the US
At the conference centre, he visited several stands,
including one where he tried on a black and white keffiyeh,
the iconic Arab headdress favoured by the late Palestinian
president Yasser Arafat.
Mitchell, who has been shuttling between Washington,
Jerusalem and Ramallah, spoke one day after he held talks with
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, who is due to meet US
President Barack Obama at the White House on June 9.