First lady to make solo visit to Middle East

Washington: Michelle Obama is making her first solo visit to the Middle East, stopping in Qatar and Jordan to promote her global education initiative for girls.

The White House says the trip is planned for next week.

Mrs. Obama is scheduled to speak at a world education summit in Doha, Qatar. She’ll also visit the Al Udeid Air Base in support of her separate initiative for US military families.

In Amman, Jordan, the first lady will tour a school that was built with US development funds and other support, and meet with students.

While in Jordan, she will also visit Petra, one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites. Mrs. Obama plans official meetings in both countries. She’ll travel without the president or other immediate family.