Obama, Netanyahu Meet Privately

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WASHINGTON - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama met privately at the White House on Tuesday.

The meeting was intended to smooth over some of the worst tension between the two allies in decades, but there were signs that was not the case.

In an unusual move, no photos were taken of the two leaders together and they made no joint statement. The White House did not release any word about the content of the discussions. 

A spokesman for Netanyahu said on Wednesday the hour-and-a-half meeting was conducted in a "good atmosphere."

But press reports said a second meeting between the two also took place. Netanyhu's office said the leaders' advisers would continue to discuss ideas raised at a meeting today.

U.S.-Israeli relations have been in a crisis mode since a Jerusalem building project was announced two weeks ago during the visit of Vice President Joe Biden.

Washington is trying to get Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table for the first time in more than a year. 

The Obama administration is demanding that Israel halt all building in the West Bank - biblical Judea and Samaria - as well as east Jerusalem, where the Palestinians want the capital of a future Palestinian state.

While Netanyahu agreed to a limited suspension of building in Judea and Samaria, he says building in Jerusalem will continue as if it were the Israeli coastal city Tel Aviv.

So for now, Israel officials say the tensions are not likely to subside.

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