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US Envoy Mitchell in Algeria


U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell is in Algeria for talks with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on ways to resolve Israeli-Palestinian violence.

President Bouteflika said it was an "excellent idea" for Mitchell to include North African leaders in consultations on the way forward in the Middle East.

President Barack Obama's special envoy arrived in Algeria on Tuesday after stopping in Morocco. After meeting with President Bouteflika, Mitchell told reporters in Algiers that the United States and Algeria have a long and good relationship, and that the United States hopes the two countries will continue to work together to achieve common objectives in the Middle East.

"Algeria is, of course, a member of the Arab League and the president is one of the most widely respected leaders of the countries in the region, so his advice is especially important and valuable to us as we try to move forward in the region," he said.

This is Mitchell's third visit to the region since being appointed by President Obama. He said U.S. Middle East policy is clear.

"We favor a comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East, including an Israeli-Palestinian agreement that results in two states -- the so-called 'two-state solution,' which we believe is the only way to achieve the desired result," he added.

Mitchell's trip will also take him to Tunisia, Israel, and the Palestinian territories.

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