Obama keen for peace in Middle East: Cohen

The US president has chosen the right envoy to work out a sustainable Mideast peace, says former US official.

  • Thousands of structures have been demolished after weeks of war between Israeli troops and Hamas in Gaza. Image Credit:Megan Hirons/Gulf News
  • The violence left more than 1,300 people dead and hundreds of others injured. Image Credit:Megan Hirons/Gulf News
  • Even animals were also casualties of the war, like this camel that was hit by a missile in the Gaza Zoo. Image Credit:Megan Hirons/Gulf News
  • Students in Gaza were eager to go back to school a few days ago. Many schools in Gaza were destroyed in the waImage Credit:Megan Hirons/Gulf News
Gulf News

Muscat: The US President Barack Obama is determined to intensify peace process in the Middle East and the selection of George Mitchell as a special ambassador to the Middle East is a strong indication of the intent, says William Cohen, former US defence secretary.

Cohen was in Oman to launch the office of DLA Piper, the international law firm, which was headed by Mitchell before his appointment as Obama's special Middle East envoy.

"The new American President has chosen the right man to work out a sustainable peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians," Cohen told Gulf News on the sidelines of the launch of DLA Piper's office in Oman.

He pointed out that Irish descend Mitchell, whose mother emigrated to the US from Bkassine, Lebanon, has a superb track record as he was involved in the Northern Ireland peace process.

"He is the right kind of persistent person for the job," said the former US Defence Secretary.

Cohen, a Russian-Jewish immigrant, stressed that Obama wanted peace in the Middle East guaranteed almost immediately.

He also cautioned that miracles cannot be done but the current indications from the Obama team do give hope for a peaceful solution to the Middle East problem.