(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this evening (Wednesday), 21 March 2007, met with Belgian Foreign Minister Karl de Gucht. The Prime Minister said that he was very pleased over improving relations with Belgium and added that he was convinced that bilateral cooperation would increase.

Prime Minister Olmert briefed Belgian Foreign Minister de Gucht on the possible implications of the Palestinian unity government and made it clear that legitimizing Hamas in any way, even if it sits in the government, is acceptable neither to Israel nor to the international community. "It is impossible to accept any compromise with terrorism and to delude ourselves that they are not like that, that they are sincere. Belgium and Israel have the same starting point on this issue – two countries that are both interested in stopping terrorism and in achieving peace. I am pleased that Belgium is willing to assist in moving forward on these issues," the Prime Minister said.