(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this morning (Tuesday, 26th June 2007), met with Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is leading a delegation of Texas public officials and business people on a visit to Israel.

Gov. Perry updated Prime Minister Olmert on Texas’s intention to enact special legislation to prevent any investments in Iran.  Texas has the 10th largest economy in the world and such a decision will influence the continuation of Iran’s attempts to arm itself with nuclear weapons. 

The Prime Minister thanked the Governor for Texas’s brave economic steps and added that economic sanctions will certainly influence the Iranian economy.  The Prime Minister also expressed the hope that continued and stepped-up sanctions would lead to a change in the Iranian position: "Sanctions are creating a momentum inside Iran that can affect the Iranian economy and Iranian policy."  He also emphasized the free world’s moral obligation to isolate Iranian President Ahmadinejad, who is openly calling for the elimination of another sovereign state: "Unfortunately, instead of preventing him from visiting world capitals, he is being received by heads of state."

Prime Minister Olmert briefed his guests on his meeting yesterday at Sharm el-Sheikh with Palestinian Authority President Abu Mazen and on the chance for making progress with PA moderates, despite the harsh and brutal events that have taken place in the Gaza Strip.  The Prime Minister expressed the hope that the creation of a better atmosphere in Judea and Samaria and the significant improvement in daily life there would strengthen the moderates and lead to an effective diplomatic process.

The two men also discussed the development of bilateral commercial cooperation especially in the biotechnology field given Texas’s large biotech sector.  It was also decided to increase cooperation in research and development.