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New U.S. Middle East Envoy Wins Approval but Little Confidence for His Mission
America's new Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, is back from his first trip to the region and will likely return there later this month. He met with the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority and visited Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

US envoy embarks on policy review in Pakistan
The US troubleshooter on Afghanistan and Pakistan pledged to forge a new strategy and urge allies to do more in the war against Islamist insurgents on a maiden visit Monday to the war-torn region.

Ecuador, US play down diplomatic spat
The United States and Ecuador played down talk of a diplomatic row on Monday, days after Quito's decision to expel a US official. Speaking on Ecuadorian radio, Minister of Security Miguel Carvajal said the decision to expel Armando Astorga on Saturday would not further damage already-strained relations between the two countries.