Iran Nuclear NewsRice to make trip to Britain, Israel, West Bank

Rice to make trip to Britain, Israel, West Bank

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ImageAFP: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel to Britain, Israel and the West Bank for talks on Iran's nuclear program, Kosovo and Middle East peace efforts, the State Department said Friday.

ImageWASHINGTON (AFP) — US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel to Britain, Israel and the West Bank for talks on Iran's nuclear program, Kosovo and Middle East peace efforts, the State Department said Friday.

The chief US diplomat will make her trip from May 1-5, during which she would attend a meeting in London of the Middle East diplomatic Quartet, and talks among five members of the UN Security Council plus Germany on Iran's controversial nuclear program, department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

She would also meet her European counterparts on the situation in newly independent Kosovo and participate in an ad hoc panel meeting on donor efforts for the Palestinian Authority.

Rice will meet separately with her British counterpart David Miliband and former prime minister Tony Blair, who is Middle East envoy for the Quartet — the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States.

In Israel and the West Bank, she will meet with senior Israeli and Palestinian officials to discuss progress "on the ground" and in the peace process, McCormack said.

She would also discuss the situation in the Islamist Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, where UN agencies have suspended aid distribution and warned that shortages would hurt the peace process.

US President George W. Bush revived stalled Middle East peace talks at a November peace conference and has expressed confidence about reaching an agreement on creating a Palestinian state before he leaves office in January 2009.

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