The United States is pushing Israeli and Palestinian leaders toward an agreement this year that would put both sides on record on even small areas of accord but that probably would fall short of a full framework for peace.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plans quick meetings in Jerusalem and the West Bank this week, the first of possibly several rounds of hand-holding ahead of an international conference on the Middle East to be held in the United States in November.
"It's to help them start to bridge any differences across a whole wide range of issues" and capitalize on areas of agreement, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Monday.
"I don't expect any writing of anything down to happen on this trip," McCormack said, pointing to the formation of lower-level committees to do any detailed drafting of an eventual joint statement or agreement.
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