WASHINGTON – Maine lawmakers Friday lauded George Mitchell’s lifetime accomplishments and willingness to take on the tough assignment as Middle East envoy.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, the Republican who won Mitchell’s seat in 1994 when the Maine Democrat retired from the U.S. Senate, said Mitchell “took on an incredibly difficult task during an increasingly challenging time in the Middle East. I commend his work and appreciate his commitment to the Middle East peace process. His hallmark facility for skilled diplomacy and deft negotiation is, and continues to be, an asset to our nation and the world.”

Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree said Mitchell’s work has made the world a better place.

“He has made huge contributions to peace and justice in Maine, throughout the United States and around the world,” Pingree said. “We are all grateful for his service in the Middle East and I know he will continue to contribute and be involved in important issues in the years to come.”

Republican Sen. Susan Collins called Mitchell a “true patriot who has answered the call to serve time and again.”

“He has served admirably through his tireless work to broker peace in the Middle East. Although he is stepping down from this role, the mission will continue, and George Mitchell’s diligence, patience and intelligence will have helped pave the way toward a lasting peace,” Collins said.

Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud said Mitchell’s “skills in diplomacy have greatly benefited our country, and there is no doubt that he’s left his mark on the world. I know that I join many Mainers in wishing him well in whatever his next steps happen to be.”

MaineToday Media Washington Bureau Chief Jonathan Riskind can be contacted at 791-6280 or at:

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