George Mitchell, who resigned this week as US Envoy to the Middle East, was praised for his service to the United States.
President Barack Obama said in a statement,
"Over the past two and a half years, George Mitchell has worked as a tireless advocate for peace as the U.S. Special Envoy for the Middle East. His deep commitment to resolving conflict and advancing democracy has contributed immeasurably to the goal of two states living side by side in peace and security.
"George told me when he took this job that he would put in a couple of years, and I’m so glad he did. He is – by any measure – one of the finest public servants that our nation has ever had. Even though he already had an extraordinary legacy – serving the people of Maine, leading the Senate, and bringing peace to Northern Ireland – he took on the toughest job imaginable and worked grueling hours to advance the interests of the United States and the cause of peace."Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said,
"It has been an honor to work alongside Senator Mitchell over the past two years. He represents the best traditions of American diplomacy. Throughout George’s distinguished career he has taken on the hardest challenges with determination, talent and old fashioned Maine common sense. From the Senate to Northern Ireland to the State Department, his work has brought peace and increasing prosperity to millions of people around the world and made our own country stronger and more secure. "
Mitchell was the US Envoy to Northern Ireland during the Clinton Administration and helped broker the Irish Peace Agreement in 1998.
He was named to the Advisory Council on Irish Issues that Barack Obama put together in September 2008 when he was running for president.
The US-Ireland Alliance established the George J. Mitchell Scholarship in his honor to strengthen ties between future American leaders and Ireland.