January 14, 2011 - 1:00am

The quartet of Middle East mediators will meet at the annual Munich Security conference next month to mull how to resuscitate peace talks between Israel and Palestinians, a German government official said on Friday.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said Germany hoped an "urgently needed boost" could be given to the talks when representatives from the European Union, the United Nations, Russia and the United States come together in Munich.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will attend the conference, Seibert told a regular news conference.

U.S. diplomatic efforts to revive direct peace talks between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu collapsed late last year after Israel refused to extend a 10-month partial freeze on settlement-building in the occupied West Bank.

The Munich Security conference, which in 2011 will run from Feb. 4-6, traditionally plays host to a range of senior diplomats and top government officials from around the globe.


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