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State Dept. Sending Expert to Mideast

February 04, 1988|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The State Department said Wednesday that it is dispatching its top Middle East policy-maker to the region to advance a "revitalized" peace initiative, and a source said that Syria, Saudi Arabia and Israel will be visited.

Department spokesman Charles Redman confirmed that Assistant Secretary of State Richard W. Murphy will travel to the region, but declined to give a detailed itinerary for security reasons.

A source familiar with the travel plans, speaking on condition of anonymity, said later that Murphy's trip would include talks with leaders in Syria, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

"We hope a revitalized process will lead promptly to substantial change in the West Bank and Gaza, and in the longer term, to a broader political settlement," Redman said.

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