New U.S. envoy to Israel: Obama hoping to visit

(JTA) — The new U.S. ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, said President Obama hopes to visit the country.

Shapiro, 42, presented his credentials Wednesday to Israeli President Shimon Peres. He was appointed as ambassador in July.

Shapiro said no details of a visit to Israel have been worked out.

He told Israeli TV stations that the United States wants to revive the Middle East peace talks to short-circuit the Palestinian effort to win recognition for a state from the United Nations in September.

Shapiro is Jewish and speaks fluent Hebrew, as well as some Arabic. He was a part of Obama’s 2008 election campaign and has worked since with Israeli-Palestinian contacts in the president’s administration.

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