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Deputy Secretary Zoellick to travel to Sudan, Jordan, Egypt

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Will pursue broad foreign policy agenda and make third trip to Darfur

By Charles W. Corey, Washington File Staff Writer

Washington - Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick travels July 6 to Sudan, Jordan and Egypt to pursue a broad-based foreign policy agenda on behalf of President Bush.

A written statement issued by U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack announcing the trip notes that this will be the deputy secretary's third trip to the region in 12 weeks.

Zoellick, according to McCormack, will continue to articulate key aspects of President Bush's agenda, including a peaceful transition of government and an end to conflict in Sudan, reconstruction and democratic development in Iraq and the promotion of free and fair elections in Egypt.

While in Sudan, McCormack said, the deputy secretary will join Sudanese and other African leaders and dignitaries in marking the historic establishment of Sudan's Government of National Unity and interim constitution under the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) that came into force on January 9.

The CPA, which was negotiated with the assistance of the United States through the leadership of Ambassador Jack Danforth, ended the 21-year-long civil war between North and South Sudan.

In Khartoum, Zoellick will meet with Sudanese leaders from the North and South, African leaders, and U.N. officials. In addition, the deputy secretary will make his third trip to Darfur to assess the humanitarian and security situation by meeting with local leaders, representatives of the NGO (nongovernmental organization) community and aid workers, and the African Union's security forces. He will also meet with some of the internally displaced persons.

In Jordan, Zoellick will head a U.S. government delegation to the United States-Iraq Joint Commission on Reconstruction and Economic Development. The deputy secretary will discuss strategy and next steps with his Iraqi counterparts on a number of issues ranging from economic and agriculture reform to the continued development of the oil and electricity sectors in Iraq. Zoellick will also hold bilateral meetings with Jordanian officials to discuss their reform efforts.

In Egypt, the deputy secretary plans to hold a series of meetings with President Mubarak and Egyptian leadership, as well as political opposition leaders, to discuss political and economic reforms, transparency in governance, and progress on the Middle East peace process.

Additional information on the deputy secretary's trip is available on the State Department's Web site.

(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)