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Bush, Rice Head to Europe for NATO Summit


President Bush has left Washington on an overseas trip for discussions about the future of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The president and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will stop in Estonia later Monday, on their way to a two-day NATO summit in Latvia. Alliance leaders are expected to discuss Afghanistan.

The president and Secretary Rice later travel to Amman, Jordan, for talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

King Abdullah of Jordan, who will host the talks, warned Sunday in an interview on American television of three potential civil wars in the region - involving the Palestinians, Lebanon and Iraq. The King said the Palestinian issue is at the core of all of those conflicts.

"The New York Times" newspaper says a U.S. bi-partisan panel studying strategic options in Iraq is expected to urge the Bush administration to undertake aggressive regional diplomacy, including direct talks with Iran and Syria.

The Times quotes officials familiar with the study as saying the panel will not recommend a specific timetable for a military withdrawal.

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