Olmert hopes for peace deal with Palestinians during 2008
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday he hopes a peace deal with the Palestinians can be reached in 2008, as he met Egypt's president to get the support from Arab states for an upcoming Mideast peace conference.
Olmert on Tuesday stated "I very much hope we can reach this agreement in the course of 2008."
Olmert's meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak came after the Israeli leader had failed to bridge gaps in a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "I am looking forward to constructive positions from Prime Minister Olmert to establish the foundations (of peace) and ensure the success of the conference," Mubarak said, according to the AP.
Mubarak also said that he was ready to go to Israel if the visit would solve the Palestinian problem. "If my visit to Israel will solve the Palestinian problem, I'm ready to go," Mubarak said in response to a journalist's question.
Olmert reached out to Arab countries, saying a peace initiative originally proposed by Saudi Arabia but now endorsed by the Arab League is held "in great esteem" by Israel and would in 2008 "surely make a significant contribution toward a solution between us and the Palestinian people."