U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has announced plans for a meeting in Washington of the quartet for Middle East peace.
She made the announcement after talks in Berlin Wednesday with Germany's foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Rice said the quartet -- the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia -- will meet the week of January 29th to discuss Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
Germany holds the EU presidency and has been pushing for a revitalized role for the quartet.
On Thursday, Secretary Rice is scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before flying to London for talks with Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Rice just concluded a trip to the Middle East that involved visits to Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
During the trip, Rice said she would soon hold a joint meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in hopes of accelerating the stalled peace process.
Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived in the Saudi capital of Riyadh Wednesday for talks aimed at encouraging support for Iraq's current government. He flew in from talks in Afghanistan.