(WASHINGTON) -- The Secretary of State left late Saturday for a seven day trip to the Middle East and is expected to press Arab states to openly support tougher sanctions for Iran because of its nuclear efforts.
Secretary Hillary Clinton is expected to visit the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar ahead of the next round of nuclear talks with Iran next week in Istanbul. Clinton will likely lay out expectations and offer Arab nations information on following the United Nations sanctions on Iran.
State Department officials also say the secretary will encourage more Arab countries to open embassies in Iraq.
A senior U.S official told the Wall Street Journal the main focus of the trip is actually pushing Arab nations toward a more "civil society." The Obama administration has felt some heat from activists who feel it is not working hard enough for political reform in parts of the Middle East.
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