US: Obama peace agenda 'urgent' on Israel visit

AP News
Posted: Feb 06, 2013 1:51 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — The U.S. ambassador to Israel says President Barack Obama will bring an "urgent" peacemaking agenda to Israel on his upcoming visit, focusing on the region and the resumption of talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Dan Shapiro spoke to Israeli media Wednesday, a day after the White House announced Obama will visit Israel, the West Bank and Jordan in the spring.

"We have a very complex agenda about Iran, Syria and the need to get Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table, so it's important to begin as fast as possible," he told Army radio.

The visit will be Obama's first as president to the staunch U.S. ally.

Relations between Israel and the U.S. have been frosty of late, in part due to failed talks with the Palestinians.