(CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney left Friday for a one-week trip to Afghanistan, Israel, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.
Romney senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom told CNN Romney had meetings scheduled with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and King Abdullah II of Jordan.
"The purpose of the trip is not to conduct private diplomacy, but to give Governor Romney a first-hand look at what is happening in an important region of the world," Fehrnstrom said in a statement.
The trip is paid for by a combination of private sources including the International Republican Institute and the American Israel Education Foundation.
Romney, who lost the 2008 presidential nomination to Republican Sen. John McCain, is considering a presidential run in 2012 and has spent the time since the midterm elections publicly commenting on President Obama's policies, including the tax deal and the New START.
–CNN Political Coverage Manager Steve Brusk contributed to this report