- The Washington Times - Friday, March 8, 2013

President Obama is working hard to tamp down talk that he’s going to forge a new and expansive peace agreement when he visits Israel in the next couple weeks.

There will be no “grand peace plan,” he told American Jewish leaders, during a private meeting at the White House on Thursday, CBS reports. Such notions are premature, he said.

But the president didn’t take a peace plan off the table. One unnamed person who spoke to CBS after the meeting said the president suggested during the meeting that a peace deal could be discussed in the next 6 to 12 months.

The key, Mr. Obama said, is getting a deal with the Palestinians that guarantees Israel’s long-term security, CBS reported.

Mr. Obama did try to reignite peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in 2011, but those fell through within weeks, CBS says.

Israeli media is reporting that Mr. Obama will arrive on March 20, though the White House has not confirmed that date.

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