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Sunday Oct. 31, 2010 12:42 PM (EST+7)
Netanyahu plans US visit but unlikely to meet Obama

Read more: Benjamin Netanyahu, US-Israel relations, Israel-US relations, Jewish Federation

JERUSALEM, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to New Orleans early in November for an annual US Jewish conference, but is unlikely to meet President Barack Obama, who will be in Asia.

Netanyahu announced his plans at a cabinet meeting on Sunday and said he would hold talks in New Orleans with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who is also scheduled to address the Nov. 5-9 General Assembly of The Jewish Federations of North America.

Obama, who is trying to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks stalled over Israeli settlement building, leaves on Nov. 5 for a 10-day visit to India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan.

Israeli officials said Netanyahu planned to fly to the United States on Nov. 7.

A new round of direct peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians got under way in Washington on Sept. 2 only to stop a few weeks later when Israel lifted restrictions it had imposed on West Bank settlement building for 10 months.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded a construction freeze in settlements as a condition for resuming the negotiations on establishing a Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu has rebuffed the call, saying the future of settlements that Israel built on land captured in a 1967 war should be resolved through peace talks. (Writing by Jeffrey Heller, Editing by Janet Lawrence)







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