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White House: No Change in Stance on Pollard

Following a meeting with the top Pentagon officials on Monday and a public event with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday at the Brookings Institute, President Shimon Peres’ visit to Washington will reach its peak on Wednesday with his meeting with President Barack Obama – and an official dinner and reception at the White House, during which Peres will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civic award in the US.

The festive event will be attended by about 140 guests, including Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, former president Bill Clinton, members of Peres family, and also family members of the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, including his daughter Dalia.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak congratulated Peres, calling the award “another expression of the great respect President Peres enjoys among the world’s leaders, at the top of them President Obama. It’s a blessing and a compliment to the State of Israel.”

During their speeches on Wednesday night, both Peres and Obama are expected to ignore the issue that grabbed headlines in the past few days – Peres’ promise to raise the issue of clemency for convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. But White House spokesman Jay Carney explained during the daily briefing at the White House that the public shouldn’t expect any surprises on this issue. “Our position has not changed and will not change today. Mr. Pollard was convicted of extremely serious crimes,”, Carney said.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

The festive event will be attended by about 140 guests, including Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, former president Bill Clinton, members of Peres family, and also family members of the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, including his daughter Dalia.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak congratulated Peres, calling the award “another expression of the great respect President Peres enjoys among the world’s leaders, at the top of them President Obama. It’s a blessing and a compliment to the State of Israel.”

During their speeches on Wednesday night, both Peres and Obama are expected to ignore the issue that grabbed headlines in the past few days – Peres’ promise to raise the issue of clemency for convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. But White House spokesman Jay Carney explained during the daily briefing at the White House that the public shouldn’t expect any surprises on this issue. “Our position has not changed and will not change today. Mr. Pollard was convicted of extremely serious crimes,”, Carney said.

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