Laura Rozen on George Mitchell

Laura Rozen has reported on Politico on 3 September that “One diplomat who attended a State Department briefing Friday for Western country diplomats on the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks noted the administration is keeping its cards close to the chest with their allies as well. ‘Every question was answered with “it’s up to the parties to decide”, or “no comment”, or “let’s not get ahead of ourselves”,’ he said of the forty minute briefing. ‘Virtually nothing was said that wasn’t direct quotes from Obama, Clinton, or Mitchell’ in recent days, he added. The administration is trying to brief more and do more outreach, while at the same time be quite secretive and stingy with details so as not to imperil fragile peace efforts … at a Tuesday briefing at the National Security Council, Mitchell regaled journalists – and sounded like he would be happy to go on even longer — on what was analogous and not between the Northern Irish peace effort vs. the current Middle East one, which hadn’t quite been asked by anyone. He filled the time with anodyne observations without stepping on more delicate current territory, no doubt an art in and of itself. The diplomat said he understood the discretion so as not to spoil the chances of success. His only issue was that they perhaps shouldn’t invite a lot of people for a briefing if the purpose was to have an excuse to decline a more detailed one in person at a later date”.

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