Olmert to Blair: Israeli security should be focus of your job

Israeli PM Olmert told Quartet envoy Tony Blair that Israeli security should be one of the focuses of Blair's institution-building roles.

Olmert to Blair: Israeli security should be focus of your job

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Quartet envoy Tony Blair late Tuesday evening that Israeli security should be one of the focuses of Blair's institution-building roles, local media reported on Wednesday.

"Cooperation between Fatah and Hamas may harm the diplomatic process. We must continue to isolate Hamas while strengthening Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his prime minister Salam Fayyad," Olmert was quoted as saying to the former British prime minister over dinner at his residence in Jerusalem.

The two met behind closed doors for a two-hour meeting and Blair is scheduled to leave Wednesday morning.

Olmert said he saw Blair's visit as an opportunity for advancement. "The mission we face is a great challenge. We see the issues you have been appointed to handle as greatly important," he said.

Two men know each other well

Sources in Olmert's office said that the meeting was held in a "very positive and friendly atmosphere," and stressed that the two men knew each other well. Olmert said that he would fully cooperate with Blair's mission, "do anything to assist him," and meet with him whenever he came to the region.

Early on Tuesday, Blair held a joint conference with Peres in Jerusalem, saying that he saw "a sense of possibility" in the Middle East and encouraging the Israelis and the Palestinians to work at it over time.

The former British prime minister stressed he had come "to listen, learn and reflect" during two days of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

During a meeting with Abbas in Ramallah, the two talked about working to end the Israeli occupation and create the Palestinian statehood alongside the Jewish state, said chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Blair, visited the region in the capacity of Quartet envoy for the first time, will begin his mission during his next visit in mid-September. He will present Israel and the Palestinians his intentions and plans in greater detail at a region summit.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Temmuz 2007, 19:27
YORUM EKLE