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Senior U.S. Diplomat Heads To Israel, West Bank

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns (file photo)
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns is scheduled to travel to Israel and the West Bank this week as part of a Middle East tour that also included stops in Egypt and Yemen.

State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters in Washington that Burns is due to meet with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad during his stay, as well as with senior Israeli officials.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to visit Israel on July 16 and 17.

It was not immediately clear whether she would travel to the Palestinian territories.

Clinton said she held "candid and productive" talks with Abbas in Paris on July 6 as officials seek a way to kick-start Middle East peace talks.

Base on reporting by AFP and AP