From THE JERUSALEM POST, Apr. 17, 2009, by Associated Press:
US President Barack Obama's Mideast envoy George Mitchell said Friday that a "two-state solution is the only solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, highlighting stark policy differences between the US and Israel over the idea of Palestinian statehood.
...The envoy spoke after meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at his West Bank headquarters. Mitchell is here on his third trip since being named by Obama, and on Thursday met for the first time with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
An official in Netanyahu's office said that in a meeting with Mitchell on Thursday, the prime minister expressed concern that if a Palestinian state is set up, Hamas could take over the West Bank, as it overran Gaza in 2007. The experience of Israel withdrawing from territory, only to have it controlled by Palestinian extremists "is not going to be repeated," said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were not public.
However, Mitchell struck a firm tone on Friday, after his meeting with Abbas. He said establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel is a national interest of the US ...He said the Arab peace initiative, which offers Israel full recognition by the Arab world in exchange for full withdrawal from occupied territories, should be part of future peace efforts...