Biden to meet Jewish leaders before Israel trip

Present at the meeting will be Dan Shapiro, who handles Israel and its neighbors for the National Security Council, and Dennis Ross, who handles Iran.

By JTA
March 3, 2010 09:41
US Vice President Joe Biden.

biden 311. (photo credit: AP)

 
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Jewish leaders will meet with Vice President Joseph Biden before he tours the Middle East.

The organizational leaders will meet Biden at the vice president's residence Tuesday afternoon in a meeting that has not been flagged on Biden's official schedule.

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Present at the meeting will be Dan Shapiro, who handles Israel and its neighbors for the National Security Council, and Dennis Ross, who handles Iran. Biden visits Israel next week.

Differences have emerged between the Netanyahu and Obama administrations over how to contain Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program.

Israel, with allies in the US Congress and backed by much of the pro-Israel community, wants tough and broad sanctions targeting Iran's energy sector soon. The White House leans toward multilateral sanctions more narrowly targeting the country's leadership.

The Obama administration is pressing the Israelis and Palestinians to return to talks. Israeli officials have said that such talks could start within weeks. The Palestinians have said they want a freeze on all Israeli settlement building before they return to talks.

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