SOPOT, Poland (AFP) - EU foreign ministers on Saturday moved to ease a threat of renewed Middle East tension triggered by a Palestinian bid for full United Nations membership, scheduled less than three weeks away. Speaking at the close of two-day talks in this Polish seaside resort, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said the European Union hoped "to avoid what could turn out to be a failure for everyone in September" at the United Nations General Assembly. Weeks before the Palestinians are to formally submit a request for UN membership, the bloc's 27 ministers devoted substantial time debating an issue hotly criticised by many, notably Israel and the United States. Split between themselves on the move, EU ministers urged both Israel and the Palestinians to return to direct peace talks while offering to take a lead role in hammering out a solution acceptable to all sides. "Our idea is to work to find the grounds for a resolution that would be acceptable to the different parties," Juppe said. "It is possible to find such a balance." The Palestinian proposal, to be formally detailed in the coming days by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, could prove a failure for Israel, the Palestinians and the United States, Juppe said. Should the Palestinians receive widespread backing "Israel would be isolated", the Palestinians "would face a poor tomorrow" after losing key funding, and Washington too "face isolation", he warned. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, whose country opposes the Palestinian initiative, said separately that it was key to "try to influence different parties to act constructively". Europe stands divided on the question, with the Czech Republic, Italy and the Netherlands also opposed but Spain pledging to vote in favour, on or around September 20, when world leaders gather in New York for the 66th session of the General Assembly.