Obama, Palestinian leader meet as deadline nears

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is seeking to ease the logjam in elusive Mideast peace talks as a deadline nears.

Obama meets at the White House on Monday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (mahk-MOOD' ah-BAHS'). The meeting marks a renewed foray by Obama into a diplomatic minefield that he's mostly left up to Secretary of State John Kerry.

There are just weeks left before a U.S.-imposed April deadline expires for completing a framework for peace talks.

Obama held a similar Oval Office meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH'-hoo) in which the president urged Israel to make the "tough decisions" needed to move forward.

Absent clear signs of progress, attention has turned to whether the parties might agree to extend the deadline if a written framework can't be forged in time.

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