Cheney to visit Mideast


Dick Cheney will promote the peace process during a Mideast trip.

The U.S. vice president will travel to the region on March 16, visiting Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey “for discussions with these key partners on issues of mutual interest,” according to a release from his office.

President Bush said Cheney would press the sides forward on the renewed Israel-Palestinian peace talks and would advocate a united front on Iran.

“His goal is to reassure people that the United States is committed to a vision of peace in the Middle East, that we expect relevant parties to obligate themselves – uphold their obligations on the road map; that we fully see the threats facing the Middle East – one such threat is Iran – and that we will continue to bolster our security agreements and relationships with our friends and allies,” Bush said Monday in a press availability.

Bush’s spokeswoman, Dana Perino, said the meetings would address the recent intensification of Palestinian attacks, including rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, and a terrorist attack on a Jerusalem yeshiva last week, as well as Israel’s failure to freeze settlements.

“Settlement issues and violence issues are part of the road map obligations that neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis are moving fast enough on,” Perino said. “The vice president will continue to push them and to work with them, as they work through all of these issues, despite all the violence that is happening around them.”


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