President Barack Obama is set to hold talks with Israeli President Shimon Peres before presenting the longtime Mideast leader with the Medal of Freedom at a White House dinner.
Peres was elected Israeli's ninth president in 2007, and his meeting with Obama comes at a perilous time in the region, with ascending violence in Syria and continuing concerns in Washington and Tel Aviv about Iran's nuclear activities.
Obama and Peres will be accompanied at the East Room dinner by Vice President Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, Secretary of State
Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton. Obama,
who traveled to Maryland and Pennsylvania on Tuesday to campaign
for re-election, will take time out in late afternoon to stump for re-election at an event in the District of Columbia.