On Wednesday Olmert convened Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and senior defense officials to discuss the US
The PM is scheduled to stay in the American capital for four days. On the second day of his trip Olmert will meet Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. On the third day, May 23, the PM will meet President Bush at the White House. The day following his meeting with the president, Olmert is set to speak before the two Houses of Congress.
Diplomatic officials in Jerusalem stressed that the main purpose of the visit is to hold an introduction between Olmert and the senior American officials, and to confirm both countries see eye to eye on several issues.
Olmert will also seek to emphasize during the visit the need for international action against the Iranian nuclear plan and the Hamas government, which threaten the region. Olmert will point to the link between the two subjects.
The PM will make clear to his American counterparts that Tehran's nuclear project, and the country's threats to destroy Israel, represent a threat to the entire Western world. He is also set to stress that the same Iranian government supports Hizbullah, which poses a threat to Israel's northern border, and the Hamas-led government that is behind unrest in the territories.
One of the options Jerusalem officials are considering, is that the Americans will ask Olmert to engage in dialogue with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Israel at this point rules out any possibility for talks with the PA, and a government decision from April 11 has also branded the Authority a terrorist entity.