The State Department confirmed late Wednesday that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will meet in New York on Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after he delivers a speech to the U.N. General Assembly likely to focus heavily on the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.

The meeting, which arrives amid heightened concern in Washington about the possibility that Israel is preparing a pre-emptive military strike against Iran, rounds out a week in which Mrs. Clinton has taken the lead for the Obama administration in connecting face to face with Middle Eastern leaders after the widespread anti-U.S. demonstrations that swept the region.

While past U.S. presidential election years have seen incumbents from both sides of the isle avoid the hectic schedule — and sensitive politics — associated with such high-level U.N. meetings, Mr. Obama has faced harsh criticism for opting to personally avoid them this week.

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