Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bush to send Rice, Gates to Middle East in August

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush said on Thursday he will send Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the Middle East in August.

"They will meet with our allies, reemphasize our commitment to the international compact of Sharm el-Sheikh, reassure our friends that the Middle East remains a vital strategic priority for the United States," the president said.

Bush was speaking at a news conference after the White House released a report showing mixed progress by the Iraqi government in meeting U.S. security and political goals.