Obama Mideast envoy Ross to step down
Washington, November 11, 2011
Dennis Ross, a senior aide to President Barack Obama on the Middle East, has decided to step down from his post, the White House said on Thursday, in a further setback to the president's Middle East peace strategy.
"Dennis Ross has an extraordinary record of public service and has been a critical member of the president's team for nearly three years," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.
Ross, a special assistant to the president, had initially pledged to work for Obama for two years, but extended his time at the White House by another year in light of the Arab Spring upheaval reshaping the Middle East, Carney said.
His departure casts additional doubt over Obama's Middle East strategy, and follows the resignation in May of Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell.
Ross had been central to Obama's efforts to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, dealt a blow last month when the Palestinians gained membership of the UN
cultural agency Unesco, something Obama had sought to prevent
The US and Israel believe the Palestinians should try to establish a state through direct peace talks, which broke down nearly a year ago, and they say that action at the UN will make it harder to resume negotiations.
"Obviously, there is still work to do but I promised my wife I would return to government for only two years and we both agreed it is time to act on my promise," Ross said in a brief resignation statement. - Reuters
More INTERNATIONAL NEWS Stories
- Malaysia formally asks for international help
- MASSACRE: Gunmen kill 100 in central Nigeria
- Tense Crimea votes on Russia referendum
- Libyan port rebels say ready for talks
- India puts on hold search for missing plane
- Alibaba plans US listing in third-quarter
- Lost airliner was diverted deliberately: Malaysian PM
- Saudi demands Qatar shut down Al Jazeera
- Labour stalwart Benn dies aged 88
- Bahrain boat show postponed over development work
- Korean steel maker Posco set for revamp
- Harsh winter hits US consumer sentiment
- Sanctions set as Russia presses on with Crimea takeover
- India inflation at nine-month low
- Missing plane: It's deliberate act says Malaysia PM
- Lost plane 'flown deliberately toward Andamans'
- Gold hits fresh six-month highs
- Iran not open for business, affirms Kerry
- Barclays 'to cut thousands of jobs'
- Jet sent 'pings' after going missing
- China premier warns on economic slowdown
- Gunmen fire on army bus in Cairo, 1 killed
- Lost jet 'may have flown for four hours'
- Gold up as Ukraine, China prompt safe-haven bids
- Search finds no sign of lost plane at suspect spot
- Missing jet may have strayed to Andaman
- Gold hits near 6-month high
- 2 killed in Manhattan building blast
- Cameron pushes for travel bans on Russian MPs
- Indian coastguards join Malaysia jet search