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Obama to take stock of peace talks with Netanyahu, Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah November 16, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamad T
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah November 16, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamad T

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will take stock of peace negotiations in upcoming Oval Office meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on March 17, the White House said on Thursday.

The Obama administration had originally hoped to help broker a deal by April 29. But on Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he hopes at best to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a "framework" for an agreement by that time.

A final deal may take another nine months or more, Kerry said.

The framework would guide further talks, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

"The parties are talking about the core issues, including borders, security, Jerusalem, refugees, mutual recognition, an end of conflict, and an end of claims," he said.

"We believe that the framework will be a significant breakthrough, as it would represent a common picture on the outlines of the final status agreement," he said.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by David Storey)

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