Obama to meet Abbas as Mideast push intensifies

NEW YORK (AP) ? President Barack Obama will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (mahk-MOOD’ ah-BAHS’) on Wednesday as the push to head off a Mideast diplomatic clash at the United Nations intensified.

The White House announced the late addition to Obama’s schedule on Tuesday night.

Abbas is pressing ahead with a campaign for statehood at the U.N. despite intense U.S. efforts to forge a diplomatic solution that would avoid a vote in the U.N. Security Council. Obama’s administration has pledged to veto such a move and is working to get Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH’-hoo) back into direct peace talks instead.

Obama is also meeting with Netanyahu on Wednesday after delivering his main address to the U.N. General Assembly.