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Cheney in Mideast talks as US troops search for missing men in Iraq

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Cheney in Mideast talks as US troops search for missing men in Iraq

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US Vice President Dick Cheney has arrived in Jordan for talks with King Abdullah designed to relaunch the Middle East peace process. The meeting comes hard on an announcement by Iran that it is prepared to join in talks on Iraq. Cheney arrived from Cairo where he held talks with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

His tour of the region, which has already taken in Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, aims to mobilise support among US allies in Washington’s efforts to stabilise the situation in Iraq.

Meanwhile US troops and Iraqi forces raided a residential area at Mahmoudiya, a town south of Baghdad, in the hunt for three US soldiers who went missing on Saturday. Local resident said that at least three people were arrested. US officials say four thousand troops are looking for the soldiers.

A group called the ‘Islamic State in Iraq’ has claimed the attack in which the soldiers went missing and says it is holding the men though it has offered no proof. Four US soldiers and their translator were killed in the attack.