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Obama Has 'Good Meeting' With Clinton and Middle East Envoy


U.S. President Barack Obama has met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the new American envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters the president had a "good meeting" Wednesday with Clinton and Mitchell.

He said Mitchell gave an initial readout on his recent trip to the Middle East and Europe. The spokesman said Mitchell is now developing a specific set of next steps, and President Obama looks forward to hearing more about that. He said the president shares Mitchell's view that patience and persistent American diplomacy can help advance efforts in the Middle East.

Tuesday, Clinton and Mitchell spoke to reporters at the State Department. Clinton said the United States wants to work with all parties to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but that Hamas must renounce violence, recognize Israel and respect past peace agreements. Mitchell said he would soon return to the region.

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