President Bush expects to visit the Middle East soon and Kuwait "is an obvious destination," his spokesman said Tuesday.

Presidential press secretary Marlin Fitzwater said dates have yet to be selected for a victory tour of the Persian Gulf but that the White House is working on arrangements.Bush has made it clear he would like to go "sooner rather than later," Fitzwater told reporters.

The spokesman said Bush had expressed a desire, as recently as Monday, to visit Kuwait and other coalition partners in the Middle East.

Bush had promised during the Iraqi occupation of the emirate to visit Kuwait once it was freed.

The president was leaving Wednesday on a five-day trip to Ottawa, Martinique and Bermuda for meetings with the leaders of Canada, France and Britain. He was to attend a homecoming for returning troops on Sunday in Sumter, S.C.