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7 years ago
Republican Mitt Romney, eyeing 2012, on Mideast swing
January 9, 2011 / 4:38 PM / 7 years ago

Republican Mitt Romney, eyeing 2012, on Mideast swing

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<p>Former Republican presidential candidate and former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney addresses the third session of the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota September 3, 2008.Brian Snyder</p>

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, looking to bolster his foreign policy credentials, is on a Mideast swing that included a visit to Afghanistan on Sunday.

Romney senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said Romney met the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus.

Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 only to lose to John McCain. He has shown multiple signs of planning to seek his party's nomination again for the right to oppose Democratic President Barack Obama in 2012.

Romney could be among as many as a dozen Republicans seeking the party's nomination.

"The purpose of the trip is not to conduct private diplomacy but to give Governor Romney a first-hand look at what is happening in an important region of the world," Fehrnstrom said.

Romney visited the United Arab Emirates on Saturday. He will also visit Israel and Jordan on the week-long trip.

He had a series of high-level meetings planned, including talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan's King Abdullah.

Fehrnstrom said the trip is being paid for by a combination of private sources.

Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Eric Beech

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