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Vice President Cheney to Visit Middle East

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney will visit the Middle East later this month for discussions expected to focus on energy and the need for negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.

The White House says Cheney will depart for the region on March 16 and make stops in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the West Bank and Turkey.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino says the visit has been planned for some time and reflects the administration's commitment to the region. The trip follows a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last week to Israel and the West Bank.

The White House spokeswoman says Cheney is scheduled to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to seek renewed negotiations between the sides. In Oman and Saudi Arabia, he is to push for more oil production.

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