• Obama to seek Netanyahu backing for peace framework

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    WASHINGTON, D.C.: President Barack Obama will on Monday try to cajole Benjamin Netanyahu to accept a United States (US) framework for final peace talks with the Palestinians, but the Israeli leader is vowing to resist all “pressures.”

    Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu will also discuss Iranian nuclear diplomacy, but likely struggle to reconcile differing views after Israel blasted an interim pact with Tehran reached last year as a bad deal.

    Unusually, Netanyahu will not be the center of attention in Washington, where his visits to the White House have sometimes featured public disagreements with Obama and testy photo ops.

    Obama is now consumed by Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, which is developing into the biggest transatlantic crisis since the end of the Cold War.

    In their Oval Office talks on Monday, the US leader will ask Netanyahu to agree to a frame–work for a conclusive round of peace talks with the Palestinians pieced together by Secretary of State John Kerry.

    Washington had previously set an April 29 deadline for a final status agreement between Israel and the Pales–tinians, but the framework is designed as an attempt to extend the diplomacy.

    It will be Obama’s most significant entry into peacemaking after his first term effort ended when Netanyahu refused to extend a freeze in settlement construction which Palestinians said was a condition for resuming direct talks.

    AFP

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