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Biden Heads to the Mideast

President Barack Obama is sending his vice president to meet several Middle East leaders on a public diplomacy mission as Palestinian leaders agreed today to engage in indirect peace talks with Israel. Biden’s visit will begin on Monday and he plans to make stops with Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian, and Jordanian leaders. The trip should reassure Israelis over Obama’s commitment to their security after the U.S.-Israeli relationship was strained by Obama’s push for a “complete Jewish settlement freeze” and his recent outreach to the Muslim world with high-profile visits to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. “If Israel is supposed to make sacrifices for a peace deal, the Israel public has to be convinced it is receiving sufficient support from the United States,” an Israeli official said.