Gates Visits Israel After Egypt Stop

Published on Thursday 24th March 2011

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is in Israel Thursday to discuss regional issues, but also trying to push the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process. His visit follows a bomb attack in Jerusalem that killed one person and wounded dozens of others near the city's central bus station. Gates said the bombing was "a horrific terrorist attack."The U.S. defense chief is due to meet later Thursday with Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak and President Shimon Peres.On Friday, Gates will talk with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, just returning from a trip to Russia, and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Gates is then scheduled to travel to Jordan. Before leaving Cairo Thursday, Gates pledged to Egyptian officials that U.S. aid will continue flowing, as it has since the mass protests that forced President Hosni Mubarak to step down last month. In all, the U.S. provides roughly $1.5 billion in assistance to Egypt each year.Gates also talked about Libya with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the chief of Egypt's ruling military council. Their discussions included the no-fly zone over Libya enforced by the United States and other Western nations and supported by Arab League members.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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