(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
He should stay there and help the troops. I will trust the current president to bring them home.
Careful in your run for president, Mitt. The right wingnuts are not too happy about insuring 40 million people and lowering the deficit by $230 billion. They call themselves patriots, but they are zealots on the edge of becoming lunatics.
Are you dusting off and shining up your world leader image Mitt ?
Why does Mitt Romney need anyone to pay for his trip to the Middle East? Why are these groups paying for it?
The troops look really excited to see him don't they? He has several sons. . How many of them are serving in the armed forces? Oh, yeah, none. Any candidate with an R behind their name will be held with distrust around the world. It is going to take the Republicans a long time to win back the respect and trust of the international community after the disastrous last administration and the Iraq war.
I wonder if Fox is reporting that it is cost $200 million a day for his trip.
You mean Romney the guy who would not serve in the military and won't have his sons serve in the military, is going for a visit?
I just hope Mitt does not make any republican deals with Karzai.
Nice move Romney. When a nation is in shock of political violence and many leaders are stepping forward to condemn it, you choose to go on a political campaign. And you want to be the leader of the same nation. How could you be this disconnected?
I guess you want your trip to overshadow the pain, shock and mourning , before the media. Well, it did not and it will not. We are not a third world nation where these things are accepted.We are the cradle of democracy. We must insist on political civility if we intend to sell this idea to the world.
Lets see if he has the guts to condemn the illegal settlements. C'mon, Mitt, I dare ya!