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Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with Barack Obama in Washington

(WJC)–Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to meet with US President Barack Obama in Washington on Tuesday. They are expected to discuss a range of issues, including Iran’s nuclear programme and efforts to start direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Last week, Mr Netanyahu said he believed that a main part of his talks in Washington would be “focused on how to start direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians right away”. The Palestinians broke off direct peace talks after Israel launched the Operation Cast Lead on Gaza in late 2008. The start of indirect negotiations in March was halted after Israeli municipal authorities approved plans for the construction of new homes in a settlement in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as the capital of a future state. That announcement came as Vice-President Joe Biden was on an official visit to Israel, and he condemned the decision. When the Israeli PM last visited the White House in March, he was snubbed by President Obama, who refused even to allow a photo of their meeting to be released. However both sides are believed to be intent on making the atmosphere much better this around.

During his three-day US visit, Mr Netanyahu is also expected to travel to New York, where he will meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and address Jewish American leaders.

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Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.

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