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O’Malley meets with Peres, Netanyahu while in Israel for trade mission

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, right, briefs journalists in Jerusalem on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Diaa Hadid)

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) met Wednesday with top Israeli officials as part of an eight-day economic development trip to Israel and Jordan.

The governor’s itinerary included a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres in the morning and time later in the day with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Topics included economic ties between Israel and Maryland and the Middle East Peace process, according to O’Malley’s office.

In a statement, O’Malley, who is traveling with a delegation of Maryland business and education leaders, said he considered the meetings “a tremendous honor.”

“Their tireless dedication to peace for Israel and the entire region is an inspiration not just for the citizens here, but the world over,” O’Malley said. “We look forward to strengthening the deep and historic relationship between Maryland and Israel and growing as partners in peace and prosperity.”

While in Jerusalem, O’Malley also fielded questions about his possible 2016 presidential ambitions.

“I plan for the latter half of this year to dedicate some more thought time — reflection time — to the question of whether or not I would run in 2016,” O’Malley told reporters, according to an Associated Press account.

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

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