By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 12, 2007 2:38 PM
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice leaves today on a week-long journey to the Middle East and Europe, where she will promote President Bush's new strategy for Iraq and search for ways to restart the Middle East peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. The rising threat of Iran will also be an important focus.
This is a critical journey for Rice, who intends to shape the diplomacy in the region for the final two years of the Bush administration.
She will land first in Jerusalem, after a refueling stop in Shannon, Ireland. She plans to hold meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials, and also will travel to Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for talks with what Rice calls "mainstream" Arab leaders.
She will finish her trip with stops in Berlin--Germany holds the chair of the European Union in first half of 2007--and London.
Follow Rice's journey with regular reports from the Secretary's plane filed by Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Glenn Kessler.