(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, this afternoon (Monday), 24 March 2008, met with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, who is on a working visit to Israel. The two men discussed bilateral relations and enhancing mutual cooperation.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Wickremanayake noted that his country has been dealing with a severe terrorism problem that is affecting both daily life as well as the national economy. Prime Minister Olmert told him, "Do not give in to terrorism because it will only bring destruction to your country. Terrorism must be fought; one must not capitulate to it."

Prime Minister Olmert briefed his guest on Israel’s concerns over Iran’s attempt to arm itself with nuclear weapons. The Prime Minister said that Iran is currently a global symbol of extremism and added that the international community had to take united action against the dangerous trends that Iran is leading.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Wickremanayake thanked Prime Minister Olmert that Israel was among the first countries to offer assistance to Sri Lanka following the deadly December 2004 tsunami, in which approximately 40,000 Sri Lankans lost their lives. Prime Minister Olmert noted that Israel had no hesitations whatsoever about assisting Sri Lanka in wake of the disaster.