Vice President Dan Quayle is considering making a Christmas season trip to the Persian Gulf, where more than 250,000 U.S. troops are currently deployed, an administration official said Saturday.

The trip by Quayle to Saudi Arabia and possibly other countries in the region is under active consideration but no final decision has been made, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity."There are a lot of considerations and diplomatic relations with allies and the coalition, sort of a political read," before the trip can be finalized, the official said.

Among the factors being looked at are whether the trip will have a diplomatic as well as morale-building purpose for the U.S. forces who have to spend Christmas in the desert.

The vice president would likely go before Christmas if he undertakes the trip. How his travels might dovetail with Secretary of State James A. Baker III's pending visit to Baghdad was unclear, the source said. The date of Baker's visit is still up in the air.