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Israeli foreign minister to U.S.

July 1, 2004 at 10:55 AM

TEL AVIV, Israel, July 1 (UPI) -- Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom is going to America for meetings with U.S. and U.N. officials on Israel's withdrawal plan and security barrier.

The minister will meet National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and congressional leaders in Washington. In New York, he will meet with senior U.N. officials and Jewish leaders.

Shalom intends to discuss Israel's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank by the end of 2005, report on its coordination with Egypt expected to help build security in the Gaza Strip.

Shalom is concerned the Palestinians and their supporters will push for a U.N decision demanding Israel implement the recommendation the International Court of Justice is scheduled to issue Friday, in The Hague, on the security barrier. He wants to convince Israel's friends to bloc that move.

A Foreign Ministry statement said he expects to discuss also "other strategic issues affecting the region." The announcement did not detail but Sunday Shalom told the cabinet the international community ought to quickly foil Iran's plans to manufacture nuclear weapons. "Only quick, consistent and determined action by the international community would remove that danger," he said.

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