( Reuters ) - Russia will host the next Middle East peace conference, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on Wednesday. "We have yet to agree on the timing and agenda of this meeting," Lavrov told reporters on board a plane on his way home from a conference between Israel and the Palestinians in the United States.
On Tuesday, the leaders of the United States, Israel and the Palestinians agreed to launch immediate talks to try and secure a peace deal by the end of 2008 that would create a Palestinian state.
U.S. President George W. Bush announced the agreement at a 44-nation Middle East peace conference at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, 32 miles ( 50 km) from Washington, D.C.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attended the conference.
"There is general understanding that meetings convened in a format similar to that in Annapolis should be continued," said Lavrov.