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Brown visits Israel, Palestinian Authority

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British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is visiting Israel.

Brown arrived in Tel Aviv late Saturday for a 48-hour tour designed to boost Britain’s profile in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking efforts.

Brown was scheduled to meet his Israeli counterpart, Ehud Olmert, and speak in the Knesset – the first such address by a British head of government. He was also scheduled to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

In a Yediot Achronot op-ed Sunday, Brown called for the advancement of an “economic road map” that would improve conditions for the Palestinians and draw support away from Abbas’ Islamist Hamas rivals.

Brown’s involvement in the Middle East has been overshadowed by that of his charismatic predecessor, Tony Blair, who is currently the Quartet’s peace envoy.

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