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Obama asks top aide Susan Rice to travel to Israel

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama has asked National Security Adviser Susan Rice to travel to Israel in May. Her visit comes after bilateral talks this week between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Obama. Rice would lead the U.S. delegation to the U.S.-Israel Consultative Group.

The trip would be Rice's first visit to Israel as national security adviser and the White House says she would continue strategic consultations on a wide range of bilateral and regional issues.

During their Monday meeting, Obama pressed Netanyahu to make the "tough decisions" needed to move forward on talks with the Palestinians. But facing a U.S.-imposed April deadline, the Israeli leader says Israel has been doing its part but the Palestinians haven't.

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