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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 October 2006, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Mid-East tops Blair-Rice agenda
Hamas supporters carry an effigy of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a demonstration in support of the Palestinian government in the West Bank city of Nablus.
Ms Rice has just returned from a visit to the Middle East
Prime Minister Tony Blair has held private talks with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

A spokeswoman said the talks - over breakfast at Mr Blair's Chequers home - focused on Middle East issues.

She said Mr Blair would go back to the Middle East and wanted to get Ms Rice's impressions after her recent trip.

On Friday, foreign ministers from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany decided to begin talks on sanctions against Iran.

Western powers fear that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies saying that it is simply trying to develop nuclear energy.

Mr Blair and Ms Rice had "a general discussion about the Middle East so Iran was not the main focus," Mr Blair's spokeswoman said.

"The prime minister did say when he made his visit to the Middle East that he would be going back, so it is right that he talks to Condoleezza [Rice] when she has just got back from the region herself."

No statement has been issued following the talks.

Ms Rice has just returned from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Iraq.




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