George Mitchell
Special Envoy for Middle East Peace
Damascus, Syria
June 13, 2009

Thank you ladies and gentlemen for being here. The United States is committed to actively and vigorously seeking comprehensive peace in the Middle East. The President and the Secretary of State have made clear, that we seek peace between Palestinians and Israelis, between Syria and Israel, between Lebanon and Israel, and full normalisation of relations between Israel and its Arab neighbours. The peace we seek is truly comprehensive. We are well aware of the many difficulties that lie ahead, yet we share an obligation to create conditions for negotiations to begin promptly and end successfully. It is in the interests of all who seek peace - Americans, Europeans, Arabs, Israelis, Syrians, all others - to support this effort through tangible steps. Syria has an integral role to play in reaching comprehensive peace. I've held substantive discussions with President Assad, and on the full range of serious issues in our bilateral relationship. We seek to build on this effort, to establish a relationship based on mutual respect and mutual interest. The United States looks forward to continuing this dialogue. Thank you very much for being here.