Obama seeks to reset relationship with Netanyahu
WASHINGTON – After a long and chilly four years, Barack Obama hopes to reset his relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he makes his first trip to Israel as president this spring.
Obama won't be carrying any big new Mideast peace plans when he embarks on the trip, which will also include a stop in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, officials say. But repairing the relationship with Netanyahu, a key ally with whom Obama has often been at odds, could itself be a crucial step toward reopening a pathway to peace in the region.
In his meetings with Netanyahu and Palestinian leaders, Obama will stress the importance of getting the parties back to the negotiating table. But U.S. officials caution that no breakthroughs are expected to emerge during the president's trip and reviving the peace process in the near term is not seen as realistic by the Obama administration.
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