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Last Updated: Monday, 10 March 2008, 18:51 GMT
Cheney to tour Middle-East states
Dick Cheney
Mr Cheney's trip hopes to save peace talks from total collapse
US President George W Bush says he is sending Vice-President Dick Cheney to the Middle East next week.

Mr Bush said one of the reasons for the visit was to impress upon the Israelis and Palestinians the need to keep firm promises made on the peace process.

"His goal is to reassure people the US is committed to a vision of peace in the Middle East," Mr Bush said.

Mr Cheney's trip, which begins on Sunday, will take in Israel, the West Bank, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

It is expected the current high-level of oil prices, and the situation in Iraq will also be discussed.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, during a visit to the Middle East last week, urged both sides to move the peace process forward.

Talks resumed under US sponsorship last November, but have lurched from crisis to crisis, and violence has spiralled in and around the Gaza Strip.

It was not clear whether Mr Cheney would make another unannounced stop in Iraq.

The fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion of the country will fall during the week-long trip.



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