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Obama, Netanyahu to meet on Iran, Mideast peace

Seeking to keep a pair of delicate diplomatic efforts afloat, President Barack Obama will personally appeal for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to move forward on peace talks with the Palestinians, while also trying to manage Israel’s deep suspicion of his pursuit of a nuclear accord with Iran.

Obama and Netanyahu are meeting Monday at the White House at a critical juncture in both sets of negotiations. The U.S. and its international partners are in the midst of new talks with Iran aimed at forging a long-term nuclear agreement. And a U.S.-imposed April deadline for completing a framework for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians is fast approaching with few signs of tangible progress.

Aaron David Miller, a longtime Middle East peace adviser to presidents from both parties, said the tension sparked by the nuclear negotiations will probably force Obama to tread carefully as he presses Netanyahu on the pursuit of peace with the Palestinians.

“It’s very hard for the president right now, having created a negotiation with the Iranians that the Israeli prime minister hates, to then push hard on the other issue,” said Miller, now vice president of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.


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