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Obama to meet Palestinian President Abbas in March

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas plans to meet with President Barack Obama next month to discuss Mideast peace talks. The meeting will occur two weeks after Obama is set to host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House.

The White House announced the March 17 meeting with Abbas on Thursday and said the two leaders would review progress in the negotiations. The White House says the two also will discuss how to strengthen institutions that can support a Palestinian state.

The meetings come as Secretary of State John Kerry attempts to broker a Mideast peace deal that would establish an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Obama and Abbas last met in December in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

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