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Obama to address AIPAC conference

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama will address the annual AIPAC policy conference.

Obama will address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference on March 4, his spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday.

Obama "welcomes the opportunity to speak to the strength of the special bond between Israel and the United States," Carney said.

The address comes a day before Obama is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also will address the AIPAC conference.

The White House has intensified its Jewish outreach in recent weeks ahead of what is expected to be a tough election campaign. Last Friday, Obama’s chief of staff, Jack Lew, met with Jewish leaders in New York.

Obama has had an up-and-down relationship with pro-Israel groups, earning kudos for defense cooperation with Israel and isolating Iran, but also criticism for openly pressuring Israel on settlements.

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