EU meets with Israel, Arab nations on peace talks

Seeing a glimmer of hope in the Gaza Strip cease-fire, the EU opened two days of talks with Israel and its Arab neighbors Monday, trying to rescue the frayed Middle East peace process. Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, whose country holds the EU presidency, said the cease-fire provided "rays of hope" for peace and reiterated the EU will restore relations with the Palestinians once they have a national unity government. "It is important the Palestinians have a credible, representative government which no one will have any excuse not to engage with seriously," Tuomioja told reporters. He also said peace between Israel and the Palestinians was crucial for stability in Lebanon.