As both Israel and the Palestinian Authority are actively wooing Europe before the PA's expected effort to ask for statehood recognition at the UN in September, the EU's foreign ministers issued a statement Monday calling on the sides to act responsibly and  resume "direct and sustentative talks."

In what could be interpreted as a signal to the PA that the EU was not enamored with its UN bid, the statement issued after a meeting of the EU's 27 foreign minister in Brussels read, "The EU reiterates its concern at the continuing stalemate in the Peace Process and calls on the parties to show the highest sense of responsibility and to resume direct and substantive talks."

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The statement, which said the EU "continues to believe that urgent progress is needed towards a two state solution," stressed the "central role" of the Quartet and fully supported EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton's "continued efforts for the Quartet to create a credible perspective for the re-launching of the peace
process."

The EU foreign ministers meet once a month and discuss numerous issues on the international agenda.

The Quartet – made up of the US, EU, Russia and the UN – met last month in Washington but was unable to come up with an agreed upon statement after the meeting. Since that time, diplomatic activity has been taking place behind the scenes in an effort to come up with a formula both sides can live with for re-starting negotiations that would prevent the PA from taking the statehood resolution to the UN.

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