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Obama meets with outgoing Israeli president Peres

President Barack Obama and Israeli President Shimon Peres in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

U.S. president Barack Obama is holding meetings at the White House with outgoing Israeli president Shimon Peres.

Obama and Peres are holding a private meeting with American Jewish community leaders, followed by a working lunch and an Oval Office meeting. On Thursday, Peres will be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor recognizing his lifelong dedication to the cause of peace.

Peres, 90, is making his final foreign trip before leaving office next month. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has held nearly every major position in Israeli politics during his 65-year career.

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The role of Israeli president is largely ceremonial, with the office typically filled by a respected elder statesman who is expected to rise above politics.

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