In an attempt to keep two delicate diplomatic efforts alive, President Barack Obama will appeal personally to Benjamin Netanyahu the Prime Minster of Israel to move ahead with the peace talks with negotiators for the Palestinians, while also attempting to manage the deep suspicion Israel has of his pursuit for an accord over the nuclear program in Iran.
Obama meets with Netanyahu on Monday in the White House at a critical time for both negotiations. The United State along with their international partners is amidst new talks with the Islamic Republic of Iran with the goal of forging a nuclear agreement for the long term.
In addition, the April deadline imposed by the U.S. on completion of the framework for the Israel and Palestinian peace talks is approaching fast with very little tangible progress.
While progress has been made on both issues, the odds of a final agreement being reached on either of the two are low. Netanyahu just before his departure for his trip to Washington vowed to remain steadfast on the interests of Israel in the face of mounting pressure internationally to make certain concessions to the Palestinians.
The prospect for Obama for a deal in Iran on their nuclear program has appeared to be more important to the hope for the elusive peace between the Palestinians and Israel.
After a number of attempts failed in jump starting the peace negotiations during his first four years in office, the president this time has left the majority of the effort to John Kerry the Secretary of State, who on nearly one dozen occasions has visited the Middle East in the last year.
Nevertheless, the direct engagement by Obama this week with Netanyahu and separate meeting scheduled for the end of March with Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority suggests the administration sees it necessary to have presidential involvement prior to the deadline arriving in April.
Kerry is seeking a framework that would be the guide for negotiations for a long-term permanent solution in the ongoing conflict. That framework includes addressing the issues that are important in the dispute such as the borders for the future Palestine, the fate of refugees and fate of Jerusalem the holy city.