(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today (Tuesday), 11 September 2007, met with French Foreign Minister Dr. Bernard Kouchner. The two men discussed various issues related to advancing the peace process with the Palestinians and the importance of a continuous dialogue between the two peoples. "We are very serious about the need to reach common points of agreement," the Prime Minister said.

Regarding last night’s Kassam rocket attack on the Zikim Base and the wounding of 69 IDF soldiers, Prime Minister Olmert told French Foreign Minister Kouchner that alongside Israel’s desire to reach peace, it is necessary to defend its citizens against terrorist attacks and added that Israel would continue its counter-terrorist operations. The Prime Minister emphasized that there is no place for talks of any kind with Hamas, which cannot be a partner in the peace process since its path is that of terrorism.

Prime Minister Olmert told French Foreign Minister Kouchner that he was very impressed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s recent remarks on the Iranian issue and added that it is necessary to increase sanctions on Iran.