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French President to Begin Middle East Diplomatic Visit

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will begin a three-day trip to the Middle East on Sunday, meeting with a group of leaders in an effort to build diplomatic relationships in the region.

Mr. Sarkozy will visit Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. He will arrive in the Middle East at the same time U.S. President George Bush is there, although they are not expected to cross paths.

A report on Saudi government-run television says an agreement is expected with France to sell military equipment to the kingdom.

During his visit to the United Arab Emirates, Mr. Sarkozy is expected to sign a nearly $6 billion agreement for nuclear power generation. France already has signed similar agreements with Algeria and Libya.