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George Mitchell Resigning As Middle East Envoy

A U.S. official with knowledge of the situation has confirmed to NPR's Michele Kelemen that former Sen. George Mitchell (D-ME) is resigning from his post as the Obama administration's special Middle East envoy.

Word of Mitchell's decision was first reported a short time ago by The Associated Press.

NPR's Scott Horsley tells us that the White House expects to release a statement from President Obama later today.

As the AP writes:

"Since his appointment on Obama's second full day in office in January 2009, Mitchell, 77, had spent much of his time shuttling between the Israelis, Palestinians and friendly Arab states in a bid to restart long-stalled peace talks that would create an independent Palestinian state. But in recent months, particularly after the upheaval in Arab countries that ousted longtime U.S. ally and key peace partner Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt, his activity had slowed markedly."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.