(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met this afternoon, with US Secretary of State Dr. Condoleeza Rice.  Prime Minister Olmert’s Chief-of-Staff, Dr. Yoram Turbowitz; his Military Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni, his Diplomatic Adviser, Shalom Turgeman; and his Media Adviser, Asaf Shariv, attended for the Israeli side. US Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones, Asst. Secy. of State for Near Eastern Affairs C. David Welch and National Security Council Director for Near East and North African Affairs Elliot Abrams attended for the American side.

US Secy. of State Rice expressed her appreciation for Prime Minister Olmert’s speech earlier this week and said that it was an important step that was likely to both contribute towards calm and advance the peace processes in the region. The Secretary of State updated the Prime Minister on her meeting earlier today with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Prime Minister Olmert informed Secy. of State Rice on his meeting with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman regarding the ceasefire, smuggling and the ongoing efforts to release Gilad Shalit.

The two also discussed the Iranian issue.