The announcement of a US peace proposal for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been postponed following the return of Middle East envoy George Mitchell, who failed to reach agreement between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority on a framework for negotiations. The initiative, which President Obama had hoped to announce this week amidst the UN General Assembly in New York, was reportedly to hinge on the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Mitchell, however, was unable to persuade Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accede to a freeze on settlement expansion pending negotiations. Despite this, White House Spokesman Tommy Vietor has assured that this apparent obstacle has not discouraged the Obama administration, stating, “The amount of progress Senator Mitchell has made in nine months is remarkable.”

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