PM Olmert Meets Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis
Photo by GPO 

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this morning met with Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.  He welcomed her to the region and commended her and her county’s efforts to advance the peace process.

The two discussed ways to advance the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians; Greek Foreign Minister Bakoyannis is due to meet with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmud Abbas.  Prime Minister Olmert noted that while Israel is open to advancing the processes and to assisting the PA in various ways, it will have no contact with the Palestinian unity government led by the Hamas terrorist organization.  The Prime Minister added that the recently scheduled meeting between him and PA President Abbas was postponed at the Palestinians’ initiative and said that Israel is prepared to renew talks with the PA President at any time.

Prime Minister Olmert briefed Greek Foreign Minister Bakoyannis on the various obstacles to advancing the process, including the holding of Gilad Shalit by Hamas, terrorist activities, the continued firing of rockets at Israel and weapons smuggling via the Philadelphi corridor.  The Foreign Minister promised to raise these issues during her diplomatic talks in the region.

Prime Minister Olmert noted the warm relations between Israel and Greece and invited Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis to visit Israel.