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US Sending Senior Diplomat to Middle East


The United States is sending a senior diplomat to the Middle East for talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials on reviving the peace process.

State Department spokesman Adam Ereli says Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs William Burns will begin his trip to Egypt, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza on Tuesday. He will head there following talks with representatives from the European Union, United Nations, and Russia, who along with the United States drafted the road map peace plan. Mr. Ereli says the talks are aimed at seizing the opportunity to advance the peace process following the election of new Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Palestinian officials said Monday Mr. Abbas had made progress toward getting Palestinian militants to call a ceasefire with Israel. But the militants are insisting that Israel halt attacks on them as well.

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