A senior Israeli official said Monday that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was testing the water during her current visit to the region to see if it would be possible to present a draft declaration on a Middle East agreement before President George Bush's visit in May.The official said Rice was interested in a draft delcaration or memorandum of understanding as an interim "achievement" when Bush returns to the region in May to mark the 60th anniversary of Israel's founding."She wants something before he comes in May," the official said.
A senior Western diplomat said the proposed document would present "the final status issues without the details."Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who attended Rice's meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday, said the secretary of state did not propose crafting any interim documents for Bush's return.
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