U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is heading to the Middle East for talks on advancing the region's peace process.
Mr. Annan is expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon today (Sunday) and with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas on Monday.
Mr. Annan has said the peace process is at a "moment of promise," despite the failure of talks on Israel handing over security in several West Bank towns to Palestinian authorities.
Meanwhile, Israel radio said today that the government will dismantle 24 illegal Jewish settler outposts built in the West Bank since Mr. Sharon came to power in March 2001.
Mr. Sharon reportedly told his cabinet that the removal of such outposts is part of Israel's obligation to the internationally backed "road map" peace plan.