Palestinians gesture and hold posters depicting President Mahmoud Abbas during a rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah March 17, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
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US President Barack Obama on Monday told Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas that both he and Israeli leaders must make tough political decisions and take "risks" for peace.Meeting Obama at the White House, Abbas said Israel's release of a fourth tranche of Palestinian prisoners by March 29 would show how serious Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was about extending peace talks. The US leader wants Abbas to agree to a US framework to extend peace talks past an end-of April deadline.Abbas did not directly address the Israeli government's demand for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a "Jewish" state.Abbas also noted the agreement that the Palestinians have with Israel on the release of a fourth batch of prisoners by March 29 .Israel committed to the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners in four tranches when talks were launched in July.
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