Italy: ME peace plan needs British, German backing

A Mideast peace initiative proposed last week by Spain, France and Italy must be endorsed by Britain, Germany and the broader European Union to be successful, Italian Premier Romano Prodi said Tuesday. Prodi, whose government has been keen for a leading role in the Middle East, made the remarks in a phone conversation with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in response to a question about the peace plan, Prodi's office said in a statement. The Italian premier told Olmert that "in his opinion, the initiative must be extended to other European partners, starting with Germany and Great Britain, to give it a better chance of being successful," the statement said.