Photo: Gil Yohanan
Prime Minister Olmert
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Saudi King Abdullah
Photo: AP
Mubarak and Abdullah. Promoting peace initiative
Photo: AP

PM: I did not meet with top Saudi official

In Ynet interview, Olmert denies report he secretly met with senior member of Saudi royal family, perhaps with King Abdullah himself. 'I believed Saudi Arabia's conduct during war in Lebanon entailed different reaction. There is a long way from this to drawing conclusions,' he says

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday morning denied the report that he had met with a senior member of the Saudi royal family, perhaps even with Saudi King Abdullah himself.


"I did not meet with the Saudi king and I did not meet with any element which should have caused a sensation in the press," Olmert said in an interview with Ynet. The complete interview will be published Monday afternoon.


The Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported Monday morning that Olmert secretly met about 10 days ago with a senior member of the Saudi royal family, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported Monday morning.


According to Olmert, "in a newspaper interview I said what I believe – that the Saudi stance during the Lebanon war testified to responsibility and judgment."


"Since in our public declarations we always criticize countries like Saudi, I believed that its conduct entailed a different reaction. There is a long way from this to drawing conclusions," he said.


"There are no limits to the media's sensation. I have no anger, I can see the pleasure people get from spawning headlines. I am committed to saying things as they are," he added.


Saudi Arabia is responsible for a peace initiative, according to which Israel will withdraw to the 1967 borders and in exchange will gain peace agreements and normalization with all Arab state.


It is also part of a new peace initiative, being promoted both by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah.


The plan's details are expected to be presented during discussions at the United Nations headquarters in New York. As part of the new initiative, the borders of the Palestinian state will be determined first, after which diplomatic talks will be held.


The Egyptian and Jordanian leaders recently met in Amman and announced that "the unilateral solutions have proven to be a failure in terms of dealing with the problems in the region. They cannot constitute an alternative for the overall solutions.


Assad: We don't want Israel destroyed

Winds of peace are also blowing the north. Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with the German weekly Der Spiegel that "Syria wants peace with Israel and not to see it destructed."


He added, however, that "my hopes for peace could nonetheless change one day. if these hopes disappear, a war could be the only ideal solution.


Defense Minister Amir Peretz responded: "The Syrian president’s belligerent declarations do not fit in with his talks of peace."


“If the Syrian president has sincere intentions (towards peace),” he stated, “he can prove it by making a move, such as halting support for (Hamas politburo chief) Khaled Mashaal and stopping the supply of weapons to Hizbullah. The State of Israel strives for peace with all its neighbors as soon as the appropriate conditions are created.”


פרסום ראשון: 09.25.06, 07:27
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