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US Envoy: Obama Committed to Two-State Solution in Middle East

The U.S. Middle East envoy says the Obama administration will exert "great energy" in pursuit of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Envoy George Mitchell says a comprehensive Middle East peace is not only in the interests of Israel, the Palestinians and other countries in the region, but is also important to the United States and people around the world.

He spoke after meeting Saturday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo, the latest stop on his Middle East tour.

An Egyptian state-run news agency (MENA) quotes Mr. Mubarak as saying there is no alternative to the two-state solution.

While the United States has been promoting the two-state solution, Israel's new government has expressed concerns about the idea of Palestinian statehood.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu favors improving economic conditions in the Palestinian territories over conceding land and other previously agreed to aspects of the peace process.

He has also called on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Palestinian leaders refuse to do so, in recognition of the 20 percent of the Israeli population that is Arab.

In the West Bank Friday, Mitchell said a "two-state solution is the only solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He spoke after meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and other officials.

Mitchell is scheduled to end his Middle East tour with a visit to the Gulf region. He began his tour on Monday in Morocco and followed with stops in Algeria, Tunisia, Israel, the West Bank and Egypt.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.