U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has arrived in the Middle East for talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders about the region's peace process.

Ms. Rice says she hopes to encourage both sides to sustain the momentum of recent peace efforts.

The secretary is to meet Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon later today (Sunday) in Jerusalem, and with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah Monday.

Her visit comes as the two sides prepare for a Tuesday summit hosted by Egypt and attended by Jordan's king.

The United States will not take part in those talks, but the Bush administration has vowed to support all efforts by the Israelis and Palestinians to revive the so-called "road map" for Middle East peace.

Ms. Rice flew into Tel Aviv from Turkey, where she held talks with Turkish leaders and Russia's foreign minister.