The Washington Times - July 29, 2013, 07:53AM

President Obama’s lunch at the White House Monday with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was due to their “genuine friendship,” a presidential spokesman said.

“It’s largely friendship that’s on the agenda for lunch today,” said White House deputy press secretary Joshua Earnest, who called it “a chance to catch up.”

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He said Mr. Obama extended the invitation to Mrs. Clinton, who stepped down from the Cabinet on Feb. 1. They had lunch in the president’s private dining room; no press coverage was allowed by the White House.

The meeting came hours before Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were gathering in Washington to hold peace talks for the first time in three years.

Mrs. Clinton is also weighing a run for the White House in 2016, after losing the Democratic primary to Mr. Obama in 2008. Last week, NBC announced that is is developing a miniseries on Mrs. Clinton starring Diane Lane.

Mr. Earnest said the president and Mrs. Clinton ate grilled chicken, pasta jambalaya and salad.