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Rice Heads to Germany for Meeting of G-8 Ministers


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is heading to Germany Tuesday for a meeting with ministers from the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations ahead of its summit next week.

The secretary of state is expected to arrive in Berlin at 10 p.m. local time for meetings Wednesday that will focus on preparations for the summit to open in Heiligendamm, Germany beginning June 6. The discussions are expected to include such summit issues as the economy, trade and aid to Africa. The participants will also meet with the Afghan and Pakistani foreign ministers for talks on such issues as the fighting in Afghanistan.

The secretary will attend a meeting of the Mideast quartet which is seeking a solution in the Middle East. The quartet includes representatives from the U.S., European Union, Russia and the United Nations.

On Thursday, she travels to Vienna, Austria for a one-day conference on women's empowerment.

Ms. Rice is also expected to visit Madrid Friday for meetings with Spanish officials.

The trip will be the secretary's first official visit to Spain since Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero withdrew Spanish troops from Iraq in 2004.

She winds up her trip with a stop in London for talks with outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

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