Israeli and Palestinian officials have confirmed that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is putting heavy pressure on both sides to hammer out a "document of understandings" detailing progress in the peace process before the UN General Assembly convenes in September.
According to Ha'aretz, Rice wants to present the document, which amounts to a preliminary peace deal, as evidence of headway the Bush Administration made in the peace process. Some fear it may also be used to ram through a hasty final status peace agreement before the end of President George W. Bush's second term.
During his first term, President Bush on several occasions vowed that his administration would be the one to oversee an Israeli-Arab peace deal and the birth of a Palestinian Arab state.
Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams will travel to Washington on Wednesday to continue their talks under US auspices.