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Iran, Syria, peace process to be discussed

Feb. 6, 2013 at 7:05 AM

TEL AVIV, Israel, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama will discuss Syria, the Iranian nuclear threat and the peace process during his visit to Israel, U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro says.

In interviews on Israel and Army radios, Shapiro said Wednesday Obama will make no specific demands. He plans to discuss three main issues with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu: the peace process with the Palestinians, the situation in Syria and the chemical weapons threat, and the Iranian nuclear threat, Shapiro said.

"President Obama respects the Israeli political process. However, we have a complex agenda concerning Iran, Syria and the need to resume the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations," Shapiro told Army Radio.

Israel will be the first stop on Obama's Middle East tour, which the reports said will take him to Jordan as well as the Palestinian territories.

Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi told Britain's Sky News she hopes Obama will act on his commitment to aid the peace process.

"We hope that this is more than just a symbolic visit, but with a clear message and clear commitment to the genuine substance and imperative of peace," she said.

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters in Washington Tuesday Obama will visit Israel in the spring but released no other details of the trip. Israel's Channel 10 reported the trip would begin March 20 and security teams were already in the country.

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