The Czech prime minister, Mirek Topolánek, says he has drawn up a plan aimed at bringing an end to the current conflict in the Middle East. Mr Topolánek, speaking as the president of the European Union, said he had already discussed the proposal – which envisages a cease-fire between the two sides – with leaders such as Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Czech prime minister said he also intended to discuss the plan with US President George Bush later on Monday.
On Sunday a high-level European Union delegation led by the Czech foreign minister, Karel Schwarzenberg, began a fact-finding mission to the Middle East, where Israeli forces have been attacking the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip for the last week and a half.
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