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Rice Begins Middle East Tour to Promote Bush Administration's New Iraq Policy

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has arrived in Israel, the first stop on her Middle East trip to promote the Bush administration's new Iraq policy.

Rice is expected to confer with senior Israeli officials Saturday in Tel Aviv.  On Sunday, she will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. 

Later in her trip, she is due to make stops in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. 

On the way to Israel, Rice spoke to reporters.  She warned that the failure of President Bush's new Iraq security plan would endanger moderate Arab states in the region.

The secretary urged Iraq's neighbors to commit to helping the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.  Rice warned that if Iraq dissolved into chaos, the consequences for the region would be great.

Rice said an aggressive, sustained U.S. diplomatic effort is needed in the Middle East on both Iraq and stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

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