The Associated Press
July 14, 2008 - 1:32pm

PARIS (AP) — A Palestinian official says Barack Obama will visit the West Bank and meet the Palestinian president during a swing through the Middle East next week.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat says the Democratic presidential candidate will travel to Ramallah on July 23. He says Obama is scheduled to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Erekat says if Obama is elected, the Palestinians hope "he will stay the course between Israel and the Palestinians in reaching peace."

Obama's Republican opponent, John McCain, visited Israel last March but did not meet with the Palestinians.

Obama is also expected to visit Israel. Erekat spoke Monday in Paris, where Abbas attended a summit the previous day.


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