The White House on Wednesday said United States would continue to push for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal before President George W. Bush leaves office.
"We would continue to work on a deal before the end of the year," US National Security Council Spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.
Johndroe made the comments after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced earlier on Wednesday that he decided not to contest in the Kadima primary in September and would resign as soon as the new party leader was chosen, due to the criminal investigations embroiled him in recent months.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would meet with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in a trilateral meeting later on Wednesday to try to clinch a peace deal.
The Bush administration has hoped that such a deal could be reached before the end of this year. However, the Middle East peace process has made little progress since the United States hosted a
Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland in November last year.