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News Brief


Condoleezza Rice is heading to Israel this week to make final preparations for President Bush’s visit.

The U.S. secretary of state on Thursday will begin another Israeli-Palestinian troubleshooting mission that will last through the weekend, according to the State Department.

Rice has been visiting Jerusalem and Ramallah on an almost monthly basis recently in a bid to advance peace talks launched at last year’s conference in Annapolis, Md.

Bush will arrive in Israel in mid-May for Israel’s 60th Independence Day celebrations. U.S. officials say he hopes to be able to make an announcement about progress in negotiations on the creation of a Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state.

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