Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will fly to Paris this weekend for a meeting of the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators and a Palestinian donors' conference, the State Department said on Wednesday.
Rice will be in Paris on Sunday and Monday to attend an international conference on supporting Palestinian institution building and reform, steps that are regarded as vital if the Palestinians and Israelis are to make peace.
The two sides on Wednesday began their first formal peace talks in seven years to try to negotiate an agreement before U.S. President George W. Bush leaves office in January 2009.
U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters Rice would attend the Paris donors conference as well as a meeting of the Quartet, which includes Russia, the European Union, the United States and the United Nations.
Bush hosted a peace meeting in Annapolis, Maryland on November 27 that relaunched the Israeli-Palestinian peace process that has been largely dormant during his presidency.