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Rice Meeting Turkish Officials

6 February 2005 -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is set to hold further talks in the Turkish capital of Ankara today before heading to Israel.

Rice is scheduled to meet with Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

U.S.-Turkish relations were strained by the war in Iraq, where Ankara fears northern Kurds may seek to establish their own state and thus embolden Kurds in Turkey.

In talks on 5 February, Rice told Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that America is fully committed to a unified Iraq.

Rice is scheduled to arrive in Jerusalem later today on a mission aimed at encouraging the Israelis and Palestinians to pursue peace.

Rice is due to hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon today and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas tomorrow in the West Bank.