US President Barack Obama is playing down expectations for a Mideast peace breakthrough during his upcoming trip to Israel, telling American Jewish leaders that he will not be carrying a "grand peace plan" when he arrives in the region later this month.
Obama, in an hourlong private meeting at the White House on Thursday, acknowledged that near-term prospects for peace are bleak. That's according to a person who attended the discussion. But the president said a deal with the Palestinians remains the only way for Israel to achieve long-term security.
The person who attended the meeting was not authorised to discuss it publicly and requested anonymity.