Palestinian official: Obama to visit W. Bank during Middle East trip

A Palestinian official said on Monday that Obama will visit the West Bank during the trip. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the Democratic presidential contender will travel to Ramallah on July 23. He said Obama is scheduled to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Erekat said the Palestinians "welcome this meeting," and added that if he is elected US president, 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 in Paris, where Abbas attended a summit the previous day.