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Obama, Abbas to meet Monday morning regarding peace talks

- The Washington Times - Monday, March 17, 2014

President Obama will sit down with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House on Monday morning, a key meeting that comes just weeks before a U.S.-imposed April deadline to complete a framework for peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

Monday's meeting also comes two weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Washington. He was told by Mr. Obama that "tough decisions" must be made to move forward with Palestinian peace talks.

The president is expected to make a similar case to Mr. Abbas, urging compromise in order for the two sides to agree to a framework for broader peace talks by the April 29 deadline.

But the two sides do not appear close. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Mr. Abbas over the weekend and reportedly told him — just as Mr. Obama told Mr. Netanyahu — that tough decisions must be made in order to reach an agreement.

Israel contends that it is willing to negotiate but the Palestinians are not.

"Israel has been doing its part, and I regret to say that the Palestinians have not," Mr. Netanyahu said two weeks ago.

Following the meeting, Mr. Obama will travel to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda and meet with wounded veterans.

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