WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush will make his first trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories during a January 8-16 Middle East visit, the White House announced Tuesday.
Bush will begin his trip in Israel and the West Bank, where he will meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, before heading to Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.
"This visit will follow up on the progress made at Annapolis in helping Israelis and Palestinians to advance their efforts toward peace and achievement of the president's vision of two democratic states living side by side in peace and security," Perino said.
It will be his first trip to Israel as president. Bush did visit the Jewish state as governor of Texas.
Earlier this month, National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe confirmed that Bush will make the Mideast trip but would not divulge details of his itinerary.
Following the Nov. 27 peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland, Bush insisted he had no plans to go to the region, saying in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he doubted it would have much effect on the peace process.
The president did, however, leave the door open for a possible trip in the future. E-mail to a friend
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