Ban hopeful Quartet can renew peace process

The Quartet of Middle East peacemakers was gathering Wednesday to discuss how to overcome a new flare-up in fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. The UN secretary-general said he hoped the meeting would help "facilitate the peace process." German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was to meet with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and UN chief Ban Ki-moon at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin. New violence in the region has further dimmed prospects for significant peace efforts.