President Jacques Chirac asked that the EU charge its foreign policy chief with a diplomatic mission to obtain a cease-fire in Lebanon, the president's office said Friday.
In a letter to Finnish Prime Minister Martti Vanhanen - Finland currently holds the EU's rotating presidency - Chirac asked that Javier Solana also be charged with a mission to defuse the crisis in Gaza.
"The crisis in the Palestinian territories and in Lebanon makes extremely grave and worrisome bounds from hour to hour," the letter said. The two theaters of crisis "place the security and political equilibrium of the entire region in danger," it said.
In the "two distinct crises," the European Union "has weight and credibility" that could be used toward finding solutions, Chirac said in the letter, dated Thursday and made public Friday.