Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak heads Sunday to Washington for talks with US President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, US and Israeli officials said.
The trip comes amid secret negotiations between Israel and Palestinian officials aimed at salvaging the troubled peace process after the two sides missed a deadline for a framework peace accord.
An official in Barak's office would say only that he was leaving Sunday and was due to return either Thursday or Friday, without giving any further details.
However, a US embassy official said Barak was due to meet Albright on Monday and Clinton the following day.
US Middle East envoy Dennis Ross flew into the region late Monday for talks with Barak and Palestinian leader Arafat.
His latest mission follows the outbreak of deadly riots and gun battles in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Monday, although US officials said the trip had been planned during his last visit to the region, which wrapped up a week ago - (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)