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High-Profile Diplomats Try To Salvage Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. Stephen Chernin/AP Photo hide caption

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Stephen Chernin/AP Photo

Catherine Ashton, the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, is traveling to the Middle East today, to try to help salvage the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. She will join George Mitchell, U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace.

The negotiations hit a road block when Israel refused to extend a partial moratorium on Jewish housing projects in the West Bank.

Ashton, who had been visiting Washington, said she is going to try to keep the talks moving:

More than anything, we would like to see, of course, the moratorium on settlement building continue, but we are very keen to see the opportunity for President Abbas to stay in the talks, and for them to move forward to a successful conclusion.

Earlier today, NPR's Michele Kelemen spoke with German Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor Guido Westerwelle about the talks, among other things. You can listen to the interview here.