Italian FM to travel to Middle East next week

Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema will embark on a two-day Mideast tour next week, visiting Jordan, Israel and the West Bank and Gaza, the Foreign Ministry said Friday. The ministry did not release details on the Sept. 7-8 visit. D'Alema and Premier Romano Prodi have been deeply involved in defusing the Lebanese crisis and Italy is contributing 2,500 troops as part of efforts to strengthen a UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon.