US Middle East envoy George Mitchell resigning

Barack Obama vowed US admin remained committed to faltering peace process.

Last Updated: May 14, 2011, 09:47 AM IST

Washington: US President Barack Obama on Friday announced his “tireless” envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, was resigning, but vowed the US administration remained committed to the faltering peace process.

Describing Mitchell as having taken on “the toughest job imaginable”, Obama paid tribute to the veteran diplomat who had “worked gruelling hours to advance the interests of the United States and the cause of peace”.

“His deep commitment to resolving conflict and advancing democracy has contributed immeasurably to the goal of two states living side by side in peace and security,” the President said in a statement.

Mitchell gave no reason for deciding to quit, saying only he had always intended to serve just two years when he was appointed by Obama in January 2009. His resignation will be effective from Friday, May 20.

“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 said in his resignation letter to Obama.

He will be replaced by a former ambassador to Jordan, David Hale, who is deputy assistant secretary of state and will serve as acting envoy to the Middle East, the President said.

Bureau Report