BERLIN -- The Middle East Quartet mediators met in Berlin Thursday and urged Israel and the Palestinians to reaffirm their commitment to peace.
Representatives of the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States issued a statement saying they were concerned about the resurgence of factional Palestinian violence.
The statement called on Palestinians to stop firing rockets at southern Israel. At the same time, the Quartet called on Israel to show restraint in response to the rockets and said Israel should release Palestinian lawmakers recently arrested in a Gaza raid.
The Quartet members said they welcomed a reaffirmation of the Arab peace plan and repeated the need for a Palestinian government that is committed to nonviolence and recognizes Israel.
The Quartet called upon the Palestinian government to restore law and order and to work for the release of kidnapped BBC journalist Alan Johnston.
Thursday's meeting was attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, High Representative for European Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner.
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