German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Friday he was heading immediately to the Middle East in support of the UN Security Council's resolution calling for a cease-fire in Gaza for talks with both sides of the conflict.
Steinmeier said he would fly to Egypt later Friday for meetings early Saturday in the resort of Sharm el-Sheik with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
He said later the same day he would fly to Israel to meet with officials there.
Steinmeier called Thursday's UN resolution "an important step" that "shows us how we can reach a lasting cease-fire."
He added that Germany has already been in "intense talks" with both sides of the conflict.