WASHINGTON (AP) — Just days ahead of his Mideast trip, President Barack Obama met with about 10 leaders of Arab American groups who encouraged him to deliver a message of hope to the Palestinian people even if he is unable to immediately deliver a peace plan with Israel.

Obama met with the officials Monday, four days after meeting with Jewish leaders as part of his preparation for his visit.

The White House has not publicly announced the dates for the trip. Israeli news media have reported Obama will arrive on March 20. Obama will also make stops in Ramallah and Jordan.

In a statement, participants said the U.S. can “facilitate a peaceful, lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” They said they were grateful Obama had sought their advice ahead of the trip.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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