28 Sep 2010

US sends top envoy to salvage peace talks

7:01 pm on 28 September 2010

The United States government has despatched its senior Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, to the region to try to salvage the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

There has been international disappointment at Israel's decision not to extend its partial moratorium on building settlements on occupied Palestinian territories.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas,says he won't rush into a decision about whether to abandon the peace talks over the issue.

But Israel's foreign minister has accused the Palestinians of using the freeze as an excuse to quit the negotiations.

Avigdor Lieberman says the moratorium may officially be over but Israel remains committed to the peace talks.