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Rice Concludes Middle East Tour


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is returning to Washington after talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and a visit to the Middle East this week.

Saturday's meeting at Mr. Blair's country residence was private. A spokesman for the British leader said the talks focused on Middle East issues, including Iran's nuclear program, and the U.S. secretary of state's efforts to promote peace in the region.

Neither official issued a statement after the talks.

Rice visited Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Iraq. During her tour, she called on world powers to take a tougher stance toward Iran.

Iran continues to refuse to meet an August 31 Security Council deadline to stop enriching uranium, which can be used to make nuclear weapons. Tehran says it needs the fuel to produce electricity.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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