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Israeli minister seeks train across Mideast


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JERUSALEM (AP) — A senior Israeli Cabinet minister is pushing a plan to build a region-wide train network that he says could link Israel and the Palestinians to much of the Arab world.

Yisrael Katz, the minister of transportation and intelligence, told foreign reporters Monday that Israel already is pushing forward with plans to extend an existing train line to the Jordanian border and into the West Bank. The projects would give Jordan and the Palestinians greater access to Israel's Haifa port.

Katz showed a map of a hoped-for rail network stretching through Jordan and Saudi Arabia to the Gulf.

Israel does not have formal relations with Saudi Arabia, but Katz suggested the issue has been quietly raised through back channels. He says the new U.S. administration is "very active" promoting regional "normalization."

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