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Obama will visit Israel in the spring

– President Obama will go to Israel in the spring, the White House said Tuesday, marking his first visit to the staunch U.S. ally since becoming president. While in the region, Obama will make stops by the West Bank and Jordan.

The White House has not released the date of Obama’s trip or details about Obama’s itinerary, but Israel’s Channel 10 reported that the trip had been scheduled for March 20.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama would work closely with Palestinian Authority and Jordanian officials on regional issues during his visit to Jordan and the West Bank.

Obama’s trip to Israel, coming shortly after the start of his second term, could offer an opportunity to repair a notoriously strained relationship with Netanyahu. But the trip is almost certain to raise expectations for the type of peace initiative that eluded Obama and his foreign policy team during his first four years in office.

Obama has in the past warned against setting expectations too high for a breakthrough in stalled negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

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