As to his recent meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Jerusalem Olmert said, “We are a party that strives for a diplomatic plan, but such a course is not risk-free. It took three months just to arrange the meeting with Abbas. We had to act until the final moments to make it happen.
“I hope the meeting will pave the way for more; but it does not guarantee an end to the terror and violence,” he added.
'We are covering all of war costs'
Turning his attention to the recent Syrian peace overtures, Olmert said, “I hope we will be able to begin dialogue with Syria, on condition that it ceases to support terror and Hamas. If Syria stops supporting Hamas and Hizbullah and severs all ties with Iran, I have no doubt in my mind that it will be possible to launch negotiations.
“I expect (Syrian President) Bashar Assad not to hide behind bombastic statements,” he added.
Olmert said during the meeting, that "the (2007) budget impressively addresses both security and social issues."
"We are covering all of the war costs," he added.
However, it seems that there are still many obstacles standing in the way of the budget’s approval.
Finance Minister Abraham Hirchson met with Knesset Finance Committee Chairman Yakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) and asked that the committee's vote on the Agreements Law clauses, which was scheduled for today, be delayed due to the coalition parties’ refusal to withdraw their budgetary demands.