Obama Mideast adviser leaving White House

WASHINGTON (AP) ? One of President Barack Obama’s top Middle East advisers is leaving the administration.

Dennis Ross played an important role this fall as the U.S. tried to get the Palestinians to drop a bid for statehood at the United Nations. That effort failed and the Palestinians have pushed forward with their plans.

Ross has served on Obama’s National Security Council overseeing the Middle East and Persian Gulf.

White House press secretary Jay Carney says Ross had planned to serve just two years in the administration, but extended his commitment by a year to work on the developments in the Middle East during Arab Spring democracy push.