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Panetta describes Israel as ‘increasingly isolated’

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT — Israel has become “increasingly isolated” in the Middle East because of its deteriorating relations with Egypt and Turkey, as well as the political tumult triggered by the Arab Spring, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Sunday.

Panetta spoke shortly after he departed Washington for a multi-day trip to the Middle East and Europe. His first scheduled stop is Israel, where he is expected to warn Israeli and Palestinian leaders that conditions for instability are ripe if they do not re-engage in peace talks soon.

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