Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, are widely expected to hold talks (tomorrow) Wednesday about the international peace plan for the Middle East -- the so-called 'road map.'
That meeting will likely be a precursor to a three-way summit, possibly next week, that is to include President Bush. The meetings are intended to jump start implementation of the road map, which continues to draw criticism.
A Sharon-Abbas meeting this week would be their second face-to-face encounter within 10 days and observers here say it would be a positive signal for President Bush to go ahead with a three-way summit -- possibly next week.
The idea is that such a high-level meeting and the personal involvement of the American president would jump start the road map.
The peace plan has been on the table since late last month, but none of it has as yet to be implemented.
The Israeli cabinet did finally approve the road map Sunday, but Mr. Sharon has come under stiff criticism from his own Likud Party for accepting the plan. Mr. Sharon insists he is serious about a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
He told lawmakers Monday that continuing to keep 3.5 million Palestinians under occupation is bad for Israel and bad for the Palestinians.