WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama has not made a decision on whether to release convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.

People familiar with Mideast peace talks say the United States is talking to Israel about releasing Pollard early from his life sentence as an incentive to the Israelis to keep the troubled negotiations with the Palestinians afloat.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that while no decision has been made, "there are obviously a lot of things happening in that arena." Carney would not elaborate on the U.S. discussions with the Israelis.

Releasing Pollard would be an extraordinary step underscoring the urgency of U.S. peace efforts. U.S. defense and intelligence officials have consistently argued against releasing Pollard.