Olmert wants to meet Palestinian President
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in interviews aired Thursday that he hopes to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in coming days. But Abbas aides said the Palestinian leader is not interested in holding a summit unless he has assurances it would deal with more than the fate of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian groups.
Olmert gave wide-ranging interviews to Israel's two main radio stations to defend his government's policies.
Asked in his interview with Israel Radio when a meeting between him and Abbas was likely, Olmert said: "In the coming days, I hope. I, in any case, asked him. I told him that I would be happy to meet with him."
"I am not making gestures," Olmert told Israel Radio in an interview broadcast Thursday. "Until Gilad Shalit is freed, I will not deal with freeing Palestinian prisoners."