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Rice, Gates To Start Key Mideast Mission

Rice, Gates in Washington in January (epa) July 29, 2007 -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates leave on July 30 on a key Middle East mission to seek Arab support for the Iraqi government.

They will make joint visits to Egypt and Saudi Arabia before separate trips to other parts of the region, including Jordan.

In Egypt, they are also scheduled to meet ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries -- the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia.