The Bush administration has backed another international conference on the Middle East to be held in Moscow early next year. American diplomats reiterated to the French news agency AFP the previously announced support for the conference. "The arrangements proposed by the United States to Arab countries include holding a similar conference in Moscow in January that would discuss the Syrian and Lebanese tracks of the peace process, in addition to the Palestinian track," according to a diplomat quoted by AFP.
The proposed meeting in Russia for a regional agreement likely will increase demands on Israel to place the status of the Golan Heights on the negotiating table.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert deflected questions concerning the report of the Russian summit as one of "20 ideas." However, the Americans clearly stated earlier this month that another conference is planned in Moscow in January.