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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 664-97
December 09, 1997

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE POSTPONES MIDDLE EAST TRIP

Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen has decided to postpone his scheduled trip to the Middle East. The situation in Iraq remains unsettled at a time when we are maintaining a significant force in the Gulf area and demands continued monitoring.

Additionally, following the recent defense minister meeting, military authorities are beginning work on options for Bosnia post-June 1998. Since political guidance must be prepared by December 18 for military authorities to develop those options, Secretary Cohen has decided to remain in Washington.

The secretary was to have visited Egypt, including the Multinational Observer Force in the Sinai, Jordan and Israel during the period Dec. 13-19.