Europe will mediate in Mideast: Merkel

In her first Middle East trip as EU President, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in an effort to restart peace talks. She said Europe was ready to help in bringing both sides back to negotiations.

Angela Merkel is on her three-day tour of the region. She met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah after holding talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

The Middle East Quartet – the U.S., the EU, the UN and Russia – expressed hopes of a meeting with moderate Arab states, Israel and the Palestinians before the summer.