US President George W Bush has backed a proposal by German Chancellor Angela Merkel for a new meeting of the Middle East Quartet on the Palestinian issue.
No more "back rubs", Mr Bush promised Mrs Merkel
Russia, the EU, the US and the UN should play a larger role in the Middle East peace process, the two leaders agreed in talks in Washington.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel to the region shortly.
Mrs Merkel also said that a "window of opportunity" for a world trade agreement was closing fast.
Mr Bush, who caused Mrs Merkel to flinch when he gave her an impromptu neck massage at a summit in Russia last year, also joked he would give her "no back rubs".
Mr Bush said after the meeting: "Madame Chancellor had a good idea to convene the quartet.
"We're strongly committed to a two-state solution. Two democracies supporting each other's rights to exist."
However, Mr Bush said the quartet should not become involved in other Middle East issues, such as Lebanon and Syria.
The leaders discussed a number of other issues, including trade, Sudan's Darfur region and climate change.
On climate change, Mr Bush said: "I believe there is a chance now to put behind us the old stale debates of the past."
Mrs Merkel said: "On the one hand, we obviously need economic growth, but on the other hand, a reduction, also of greenhouse gases."
Mrs Merkel also said time was running out for a world trade deal.
Mr Bush said he thought a deal was still possible but added: "We've got hard work to overcome our obstacles."
Five-year talks on global trade barriers and subsidies - the so-called Doha round - collapsed in July.
Germany currently holds the six-month rotating presidency of the EU and year-long presidency of the G8 nations.