Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon headed to the United States Sunday for a summit with President Bush to discuss Israel's planned pull out from the Gaza Strip.

The two leaders will begin talks Monday at the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas, in the southern United States.

Mr. Sharon and Mr. Bush are expected to discuss Israel's controversial plan to expand some settlements in the West Bank.

Israel has insisted it has the right to continue to expand the settlements. Washington opposes any further construction there, saying it threatens peace with the Palestinians and violates the internationally backed "road map" peace plan.

President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon are also expected to discuss issues holding up a peace deal with the Palestinians, and recent developments in the Middle East.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.