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Middle East envoy departs today

From NBC's Libby Leist

U.S. special Middle East envoy George Mitchell will depart today for the Middle East, the State Department said this morning.

Spokesman Robert Wood told reporters that Mitchell's trip will include stops in : Egypt, Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

Mitchell will focus his discussions on ceasefire efforts being made by Egypt, anti-smuggling plans to stop weapons from entering Gaza, opening up border crossings into Gaza and humanitarian needs in Gaza.

"He is in listening mode ... to get the peace process back on track," Wood said.

Mitchell's trip runs through Feb 3. State and NSC officials will join Mitchell.