The European Union is sending a top official on a tour of the Middle East this week to try to maintain momentum in renewed efforts to forge peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner begins a four-day tour on Monday that will include stops in Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Jordan.
Her trip comes after a diplomatic push by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas failed to persuade the European Union to lift a financial aid embargo that has crippled the Palestinian government since the radical Islamic Hamas won control of the Cabinet and legislature in elections a year ago.
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