France urges European observers to monitor Gaza

The French foreign minister said Monday that European military observers should be sent to Gaza to monitor any eventual cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Bernard Kouchner said on Europe-1 radio that France is pushing for international observers in the region, despite resistance from Egypt and Israel. "There need to be European observers," Kouchner said, adding that the group could be expanded to include monitors from other regions. He said they should include military observers, "to testify to the maintained cease-fire." France has played an active diplomatic role in the push for peace in Gaza, including as current president of the UN Security Council and during a trip by President Nicolas Sarkozy and Kouchner to several cities in the Middle East last week.