Italian FM urges revived Mideast peacemaking

Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema called Thursday for the resumption of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians as the only way to end their spiraling violence. D'Alema made the comments after talks with Jordan's King Abdullah II and Foreign Minister Abdul-Illah al-Khatib in Amman before heading to Ramallah for a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. He was then to head to Israel in his two-day Mideast tour. "We urge the Palestinians and Israel to end the aggression and the cycle of violence sweeping across the Palestinian territories, especially after the kidnapping of (IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad) Shalit, and to restart direct dialogue between the parties," d'Alema told reporters before boarding a flight to the West Bank. Shalit was abducted by Palestinian gunmen linked to Hamas in early July.