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Netanyahu, Obama to meet in Washington on Sept 30, official says

U.S. President Barack Obama (front L) participates in a farewell ceremony with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (front R) at Tel Av
U.S. President Barack Obama (front L) participates in a farewell ceremony with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (front R) at Tel Av

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on September 30, an Israeli official said on Tuesday, for talks expected to focus on Iran's nuclear program.

Netanyahu, confirming he would see Obama but giving no exact date, said the talks would take place before he attended the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York.

"I intend to focus on the question of stopping Iran's nuclear program - an actual halt to the nuclear program. And until this is achieved, the pressure on Iran should be intensified and not eased," Netanyahu told his cabinet.

Western powers suspect Iran of harboring ambitions to build an atomic bomb, but Iran says its nuclear program is intended purely for peaceful purposes.

Israel is also in the midst of U.S.-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians that the Obama administration hopes will yield an accord within months. Both countries are concerned by fighting in Syria, on Israel's borders, and the use of chemical weapons there.

An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Netanyahu and Obama would meet on Sept 30 in Washington and that the prime minister would probably address the U.N. assembly the next day.

The two leaders last met in March, when Obama visited Israel.

(Writing by Dan Williams, Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Ralph Boulton)

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