(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met on Monday (8 October) with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. The two men discussed various regional and bilateral issues.

Prime Minister Olmert conveyed his condolences regarding the Turks who were murdered by terrorists on the Iraqi border. Foreign Minister Babacan said that there is a profound solidarity between Turkey and Israel, both of which suffer from terrorist attacks.

The two leaders reviewed the expanding economic relations between the countries in the fields of industry, tourism and infrastructure.

Prime Minister Olmert noted the importance of Turkey’s involvement in the upcoming international meeting to be held in the US and emphasized that the participation of moderate Arab and Islamic countries, which openly express their support for the advancement of the bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, would greatly contribute to its success. He also noted that the meeting is not in place of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians but is an open show of support for reaching an agreement via dialogue between the sides.

Prime Minister Olmert and Turkish Foreign Minister Babacan also discussed additional regional issues, including Syria, Lebanon and Iran. The Prime Minister reiterated Israel’s position in the wake of the Iranian President’s belligerent and threatening statements and praised Turkey’s pointed stance against Iran’s attempts to equip itself with nuclear weapons.