U.S. officials have asked the Palestinian leadership to require parliamentary candidates to renounce violence if they want to run in upcoming elections.

The issue is expected to be discussed when President Bush meets Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at the White House Thursday.

U.S. and Palestinian officials say the Bush administration is concerned that Palestinian militant groups, who have a history of attacks on Israelis, will do well in the January vote.

On Tuesday, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said there is more the Palestinian leadership can do to end violence and dismantle terrorist organizations.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, whose government recently withdrew settlements from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank, has said participation in the election by militant groups such as Hamas would be unacceptable.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.