US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Image Credit: AP

Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will leave here on Saturday for a tour of the UAE, Oman and Qatar, the State Department said on Thursday.

During the trip from January 8 through January 13, Clinton will meet with government officials at each stop to discuss "a full-range of regional and bilateral issues," Mark Toner, a State Department official, told reporters.

She will also "emphasise the importance of government-civil society engagement," he said, referring to the need for governments to work with political, environmental and other activists.

"In addition to these meetings, the secretary will engage with civil society and community leaders in each country working to help citizens realize shared aspirations for progress," Toner said.

"This engagement underscores the US commitment to support civil society and promote partnerships that lead to prosperity for the people of the region," he added.

In Qatar, he said, Clinton will also participate in the seventh Forum for the Future, a US initiative to promote reform in the Middle East that was created by then US president George W. Bush in 2004.

"This ministerial event brings together civil society representatives and government officials to discuss and exchange ideas on how best to work together to foster progress and expand opportunities for the people of the region," Toner said.

The forum was set up by the Bush administration so that leaders from the region, the Group of Eight leading industrial countries, and representatives from business and civil society could meet to discuss reform.