US officials head for Israel

18 February 2004
Three US envoys will be briefed on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plans to evacuate all 17 Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip during a two-day visit which begins on 18 February (MEED 6:2:04).

The assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs, William Burns, and White House officials Steve Hadley and Elliot Abrams will hold talks with Sharon's chief of staff Dov Weisglass, before later meeting with the prime minister.

Reports say Sharon will travel to Washington soon for talks with President Bush, when he is expected to seek US backing for the Gaza pullout plans.

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