President Bush is expected to hold a summit in the Middle East with the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers, now that the Israeli cabinet has conditionally accepted a US backed "road map" for peace with the Palestinians.
Israeli officials say the summit is likely to be held in Jordan next week, but Jordan's Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher says there is no decision yet on the venue.
US officials say President Bush is also likely to meet with the leaders of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia -- all of whom have supported the peace process.
Mr. Bush's expected meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas could come after the president attends an economic summit in France during the first days of June.
The Middle East summit would be the most direct role President Bush has taken in trying to end nearly 32 months of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin discussed peace efforts today with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who has been shunned by the United States and Israel. After the talks in the West Bank town of Ramallah, the French official said that each side must take up its responsibilities and fulfill its part of the road-map.
The plan drawn up by the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union, outlines steps that should be taken by the Israelis and Palestinians to lead to an independent Palestinian state by 2005.
The initial phase calls for the Palestinians to crack-down on anti-Israel attacks and for Israel to stop Jewish settlement activity in the occupied territories.
The Israeli cabinet gave conditional acceptance to the road map by a 12-to-seven vote after a stormy meeting Sunday; four minsters abstained.