Clinton heading to Middle East for Gaza conflict talks -White House

PHNOM PENH Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:54am EST

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PHNOM PENH Nov 20 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama is sending Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Middle East for talks with Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian leaders to seek a de-escalation of the violence in Gaza, the White House said on Tuesday.

White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters in Cambodia that Clinton would leave for the region later on Tuesday. Clinton and Obama are attending a summit in Phnom Penh.

Clinton will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and with Palestinian Authority leaders in Ramallah, Rhodes said. She will later travel to Cairo.

Rhodes said the message of her trip will be that it is in nobody's interest for there to be an escalation of military conflict in Gaza.

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