Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is set to meet with American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Jerusalem Thursday afternoon. Rice, who has come to the area to conduct talks, will be meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas before meeting Olmert.
The decision to meet PM Olmert was made Wednesday. On Tuesday Olmert's associates said, "there is no point in a meeting between Rice and Olmert at this time." According to them, following Olmert's political statements Monday, he prefers to wait for Abbas to control terror and the breaking of the ceasefire.
Furthermore, he expects the Palestinian president will be successful in forming a technocratic government that will accept the three terms of the Quartet and the principles of the road map. Until then, he does not intend to accelerate political activity.
The prime minister visited Washington two weeks ago, where he met with US President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney and Rice. The Americans praised his conduct with the Palestinians, and hope for progress.
Bush and Rice are busy with the Iraq issue at the moment, following internal pressure by the senate and parliament which are run by a democratic majority.
In the week when over 300 people were killed in attacks in Iraq, Americans signaled to Abbas and Olmert that they should take care of matters on their own. Still, Rice has found time to meet with both.