French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday said that "new hope presents itself" with the resumption of direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders later this week in Washington.
"The American administration needs strong backing from the European Union for the peace process to continue," he said.
"After months of stalemate, a hope exists. This chance must be seized," Sarkozy said.
"I believe the US role is very important but cannot be the only one."