(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met this afternoon (Monday), 9 August 2004, with US Senator (R-MN) Norm Coleman.

The two men discussed the implementation of the disengagement plan. Sen. Coleman commended Prime Minister Sharon for his leadership and said that, “The US and the Congress see disengagement as a brave step that gives hope to the entire region. This is a step which shows leadership. There are leaders who talk and you are a leader who  acts.” Prime Minister Sharon said that while Israel is prepared to make painful concessions for peace, “Israel will never compromise on matters of security.”

Sen. Coleman expressed interest in the political situation in Israel. Prime Minister Sharon updated him on developments and said that, “To form a new coalition in the current situation in Israel is not easy but I will do it.”

Regarding the evacuation of unauthorized outposts, Prime Minister Sharon said that he is committed to carrying it out and intends to meet his commitment. The Prime Minister added, “I hope that we have found a way that will assist us in overcoming the legal and other obstacles and that we will be able to evacuate as soon as possible.”

The two men also discussed economic issues, the danger posed by the spread of global terrorism, the warnings issue and the Iranian issue.

Sen. Coleman, who is Jewish, represents the State of Minnesota. He serves – inter alia – on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, the responsibilities of which include homeland security. Sen. Coleman serves as an important link between the Republican Party and the US Jewish community.