Saudi king, U.S. envoy discuss Mideast peace process

By Xinhua,

RIYADH : Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and U.S. special envoy for the Middle East George Mitchell held talks Sunday on the progress of the Palestinian cause and peace process in the region.

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According to local SPA news agency, the king and Mitchell stressed the importance of intensifying international efforts to reach just and comprehensive solution to ensure that the Palestinians establish their own independent state.

In the same day, Mitchell also conveyed a message from U.S. President Barack Obama to Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), which represents 1.5 billion Muslims in 57 countries.

In the message, Obama said he is ready to work with the OIC secretary general to promote cooperation and improve good relations between the United States and the OIC.

Obama also expressed his confidence that the two sides can work together under the spirit of peace and friendship to build a safer world in the next four years.

According to a press release issued by the OIC, Ihsanoglu has written an open letter to Obama before his inauguration, saying “We warmly welcome your expressed desire to give a major address in a Muslim nation soon after you assume the presidency and hope it will mark the beginning of a more fruitful and better-informed dialogue between the West and the Muslim world.”

Saudi Arabia is the last leg of the U.S. envoy to the Middle East, which also includes Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the West Bank in the framework of the efforts of the new U.S. administration headed by Obama to stabilize the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and activate the peace process in the region.