France urges new peace push in wake of Gaza truce

France's foreign minister called an unexpected truce Sunday in the Gaza Strip a major event and urged the international community to seize the opportunity to revive peace efforts. Philippe Douste-Blazy expressed hope that the truce, which took effect Sunday morning, will hold. If it does, "France can only welcome it," he said on Radio-J. The truce was announced late Saturday after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas telephoned Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert with an agreement from Palestinian militant groups to halt rocket fire and other violence from Gaza. Douste-Blazy called the quick decision a "major" development for the region. "The international community should not remain silent and inactive," but should take part in reviving the peace process, he said.