Foreign ministers of Group of Eight countries are seeking to find a common position on Iran's violent crackdown on protesters as they open a meeting in Trieste, northeastern Italy.
Italy said Thursday it wanted to send a tough message, but Italian officials in Trieste also stressed the need not to further isolate Iran. The EU commissioner for external relations condemned the use of excessive force, and called for dialogue among battling parties within Iran.
On the sidelines of the summit will be a meeting of the Mideast Quartet - the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations - to try to help move the Israeli-Palestinian peace process forward. While Middle East envoy George Mitchell is expected to attend, Israel was not invited.
Earlier this month, Palestinian Authority officials expressed outrage over Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's call for the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state and his demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.