Archive for the ‘Olmert’ Category

Israel Scared, Wants U.S. More Engagement on Iran

November 20, 2008

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the U.S. and Europe should put aside differences with China and Russia over human rights and missile-defense issues to focus on working together to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attends the opening of ... 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran November 19, 2008.REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN)

“The triad of nuclear proliferation, radical Muslim terror, and rogue states, epitomized in the Iran case, can be defeated only through a paradigm shift in international relationships,” Barak said in an interview at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv late yesterday. 

By Gwen Ackerman and Calev Ben-David, Bloomberg

Barak said criticism of Russia’s actions in Chechnya and China’s human rights record are hurting efforts to put up a united front against Iran. He also said that U.S. plans to deploy missiles in Eastern Europe — which the Americans say are aimed at countering Iran and which Moscow perceives as a threat — also aren’t helpful.

“The other issues are not as urgent,” he said.

The U.S. and its European Union allies, who accuse Iran of using its nuclear energy program as a cover for developing a weapon, are pressing for a fourth round of United Nations sanctions. Iran has rejected UN demands to halt its work on enriching uranium, which can be used to fuel a power station or form the core of a bomb.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, left, Israeli Prime Minister ...
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, left, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, right, and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, center, attend the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008.(AP Photo/Gali Tibbon, Pool)

“The time for sanctions is still there, but it is short,” said Barak, 66, who heads Israel’s Labor Party and is the country’s former prime minister. “The way I see to make it effective is to cut through the psychological obstacles about cooperating with Russia and China and open a new discourse.”

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Israel Urges “Greater Force” On Iran’s Nuclear Work, “Devious Goals”

November 17, 2008

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called on Sunday for a stronger international campaign against Iran‘s nuclear programme to “thwart it with greater force.”

“We must increase our measures to prevent Iran from achieving its devious goals,” Olmert said in a speech to Jewish leaders in Jerusalem. “Iran cannot become nuclear. Israel cannot afford it … the free world must not accept it.

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attends the weekly cabinet ... 
Olmert (Gali Tibbon/Pool/Reuters)

“We must unite our forces as part of the international community, led by the United States of America. We must confront Iran’s malevolent diligence and thwart it with greater force.”

Israel and the West fear Iran may be using its nuclear programme to develop a nuclear weapon, which the Jewish state sees as a potential threat to its existence. Iran says its atomic programme is solely for energy purposes.

Israel is widely believed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, although it has never confirmed nor denied it.

Israel has backed Western economic sanctions against Iran but has said it is keeping all options on the table in its bid to halt Iran’s nuclear programme.

Israeli leaders have voiced concern about U.S. President-elect Barack Obama’s stated readiness to seek dialogue either alongside or instead of sanctions as a method of persuading Iran to change its policies.

“Iran has not terminated its pursuit of nuclear weapons,” Olmert said.

He also accused the Islamic Republic of continuing to fund Palestinian militants and gunmen in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Olmert called for further sanctions against Iran, saying: “It must become more costly to Iran to pursue nuclear weapons than to give it up.”

Olmert resigned as prime minister in September in the heat of a corruption investigation, but is staying on as caretaker prime minister until a new Israeli government can be formed after a February 10 election.

(Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Janet Lawrence of Reuters)

Israel: Olmert’s future rides on Lebanon war report

January 28, 2008

By Joshua Mitnick
January 28, 2008

TEL AVIV — The final report this week of an inquiry into the handling of the 2006 war in Lebanon could determine the fate of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government just as it settles into peace talks with the Palestinians.
Mr. Olmert was nearly forced to resign after the preliminary report of the Winograd Commission described his authorization of the war as a “serious failure.”

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Israel Committed to Missile Defense

January 26, 2008

Washington (UPI) Jan 25, 2007

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert signaled his strong support for his country’s ballistic missile defense development program Tuesday when he took a trip to Rafael Advanced Industries and received an update there on the nation’s two premier BMD systems. Olmert’s government a year ago “decided to invest in the development of a multi-layered defensive system ….Read the rest:

Israel won’t accept nuke weapons in Iran

January 14, 2008
By LAURIE COPANS, Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM – Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told a powerful parliamentary panel on Monday that Israel rejects “no options” to block Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, a meeting participant said.

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Israel: “Thank God For George Bush”

January 9, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
January 9, 2008

In a rare moment of praise for President Bush, Israeli President Shimon Peres explained to reporters that it was not polite to praise a person in his own presence.  Then he slipped into Hebrew and said, “Thank God for George Bush.”

President Bush is in Israel on the first stop in his multi-nation Middle East peace mission.

Israel expressed strong gratitude to the United States for its continued support for the peace process.  Both nations again expressed an intention to see a new Palistinian nation in the Middle East near Israel.
President Bush arrives in Israel for his first presidential visit there on Wednesday
President Bush arrives in Israel Wednesday for his first presidential
visit there. (Photo by Christopher Furlong, Getty Images.)

When asked why no three party talks were planned — to include the Palistinian leadership, President Peres said there had been a three-way discussion just a month ago during the Annapolis summit.

“I come as an optimistic person and a realistic person – realistic in my understanding that it’s vital for the world to fight terrorists, to confront those who would murder the innocent to achieve political objectives,” Bush said as he began his first presidential visit to Israel.

But the real news from the press conference today was the heartfelt praise for President Bush and U.S. Secretary of State Condi Rice by the Israelis.

“Your visit is timely and is very important to encourage the process that you and Secretary Rice helped start in Annapolis a few weeks ago and that we, both sides I believe, are very seriously trying to move forward with now in order to realize the vision of a two-state solution,” said Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

(AP) President Bush, right, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I come with high hopes,” Bush said. “And the role of the United States will be to foster a vision of peace. The role of the Israeli leadership and the Palestinian leadership is going to do the hard work necessary to define a vision.”

President Bush pledged to fully support the peace process.

“Am I nudging them forward? Well, my trip was a pretty significant nudge because yesterday they had a meeting,” he said. And he said he would step in when and if his involvement is needed. “You know me well enough to know I’ll be more than willing to provide it,” Bush said.

When asked about the confrontation at sea Sunday between small boats from Iran and the United States Navy, President Bush reiterated what his National Security Advisor had said in Washington.  “Next time, Iran will have to take responsibility for the consequences.”

President Bush said Iran continues to be a “threat to world peace.”

The president said about the incident in the Persian Gulf, “all options are on the table to secure our assets.” He said serious consequences would follow another Iranian provocation. “My advice to them is don’t do it,” he said.

Bush meets with Israeli, Palestinian

November 27, 2007

By Jon Ward and David R. Sands
The Washington Times
November 27, 2007

President Bush met separately yesterday with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in preparation for direct talks between the two leaders today in Annapolis and said that a deal would require “difficult compromises.”

The peace summit, named the Annapolis Conference, is being billed as a starting point for renewed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority, with the goal being a permanent Palestinian state.

Mr. Bush told Mr. Olmert that he was “optimistic” about the conference, but took no questions before either Oval Office meeting early yesterday and offered no details about his conversations with either Mr. Olmert or Mr. Abbas.

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Bush and Olmert express hope for peace

November 26, 2007

By AMY TEIBEL and MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH, Associated Press Writers 22 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – Hours before the opening of a high-stakes international conference on the Middle East, President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed hope Monday that peace finally could be achieved. A senior member of the Palestinian delegation said an elusive joint statement on the contours for future talks was within reach.

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