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Hillary Clinton said to be planning Middle East trip

February 24, 2009|Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will visit Israel and the West Bank next week for her first trip to the region as America's top diplomat, Israeli and Palestinian officials said Monday.

The Israeli officials said Clinton would arrive in Israel on March 2 for two days of meetings with leaders.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the visit had not been announced by the State Department, which had not released Clinton's schedule for next week.

Yasser Abed-Rabbo, a senior aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said Clinton also would visit the West Bank.

The State Department, meanwhile, announced the appointment of Dennis B. Ross as special advisor for the Gulf and Southwest Asia.

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