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Rice Visits Saudi Arabia For Talks On Iraq

Rice (L) with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal in Jeddah on 13 November (AFP) 13 November 2005 -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Saudi Arabia today for talks with King Abdullah and Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.

Rice says she is hoping to muster support for the reconstruction of Iraq and boost the cause of democratic reform in the kingdom.

Speaking to reporters, she said she hoped the Saudis will press Iraqi Sunnis to be involved in the reconstruction of their country.

Rice's visit came just days after the U.S. State Department cited Saudi Arabia for denying religious freedom for non-Muslims.

Rice is scheduled to leave later today for Jerusalem to boost Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. On 14 November, she will talk with top Israeli leaders and Palestinian officials. She will then head to Jordan for a condolence call following last week's deadly bombings that killed at least 57 people.