Israel's Sharon leaves for US to meet Bush
Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon left for the United States Sunday, expecting overwhelming support from President Bush before embarking on the evacuation of about 9,000 Jewish settlers.
The Israeli premier is scheduled to meet with President Bush this week at the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas, a venue reserved for a select few world leaders.
Israel is set to evacuate all 21 Gaza settlements and four more in the West Bank this summer.
Sharon will begin his Texas visit in Waco Sunday evening, where he will meet with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to finalize the issues for discussion at the meeting with Bush and the final communiques to be issued afterward. On Monday, Sharon and Bush will hold a 90-minute working meeting, a brief press conference and a joint luncheon.
From Texas, Sharon will continue to Washington, where he will meet with Cheney, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Congressional leaders and Jewish leaders.
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