WASHINGTON (AFP) –
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice testifies during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates will visit Russia March 17-18, with Russo-US ties sorely strained by US missile defense plans, officials said Wednesday.(AFP/GETTY IMAGES/Mark Wilson)
With , the Middle East, and Kosovo’s declaration of independence also on the agenda, Rice and Gates will meet with their counterparts and seek talks with and president-elect , aides said.
Putin and USagreed in a telephone call last week that the talks, a follow up to a similar round in October 2007, would be “a good idea,” said White House spokeswoman .
“The agenda will cover a broad range of bilateral strategic issues, including missile defense, post-START arrangements, cooperation on non-proliferation as well as counterterrorism,” she said.