In the summer of 2002, as the preparations for the war against Iraq were gearing up, the Bush administration, in cooperation with its partners in the Quartet (the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations), turned its attention to reviving the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. Washington's involvement of the Europeans and the UN (for the first time) in formulating and overseeing a peace initiative was widely seen as a bid for international support in the run-up to war in Iraq, and as assuring a more "evenhanded approach." The EU was initially given the lead in drafting a "realistic road map" toward peace and Palestinian statehood based on U.S. President George W. Bush's 24 June 2002 policy speech on the Middle East (see Doc. C1 in JPS 125).
Though the EU presented a draft (never released) in September 2002, it was the U.S. alternative draft, formally named "Elements of a Performance-Based Road Map to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," shown to Israeli PM Ariel Sharon on 16 October and first presented to the Quartet members and the Palestinians on 17 October, that served as the basis for further fine-tuning.
Originally slated for finalization at the Quartet meeting scheduled for 20 December 2002, the road map was delayed by the United States as a result of "heated Israeli objections" (see Doc. C3 in JPS 127 for the State Department's summary of progress on the road map). Further delays were requested by the United States until after the Israeli elections for prime minister, the formation of the new Israeli government, the end of the war against Iraq, the nomination of a Palestinian prime minister, and the installation of a new PA government. The road map was finally presented to the Israeli government and Palestinian Authority on 30 April 2003.
The road map refers to several earlier documents: the Mitchell Report (Doc. A2 in JPS 120), the Tenet work plan (Doc. D2 in JPS 121), the Saudi-Arab League initiative (Doc. B1 in JPS 124), and the Bertini report, which resulted from an August 2002 mission to the occupied territories led by Catherine Bertini, personal humanitarian envoy to UN Secretary-General Ko Annan, and was ultimately expanded and adopted as the United Nations “Humanitarian Plan of Action 2003” (Doc. A1 in JPS 126).