Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Friday and urged him to resume peace talks quickly now that his government has assumed power. Olmert's aides said a meeting with Abbas is possible, but ruled out negotiations as long as the Hamas-led cabinet refuses to recognize Israel or renounce violence.
Former Palestinian minister Saeb Erekat, said "President Abbas called Mr. Olmert, congratulated him on the formation of the new Cabinet and offered to resume the partnership between the two sides and to resume negotiations." Olmert told Abbas he would consider a meeting after his Washington trip, Erekat said, adding that no date has been set.
Meanwhile, Olmert and Jordan's King Abdullah II have agreed to meet in the coming weeks, Olmert's office said Friday, after the two leaders spoke by phone.
Abdullah called Olmert to congratulate him on his new government, Olmert's office said, according to the AP. The two agreed to meet after Olmert returns from a visit to Washington later this month.
In Jordan, a statement by the king's press office said the Jordanian monarch promised Olmert that he will work with Israel and the Palestinian Authority "to achieve peace, security and stability in the area."