(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met this morning (Wednesday), 30 August 2006, with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and thanked him for his role in formulating UN Security Council Resolution #1701. The Prime Minister emphasized that the main part of implementing the decision was the return of the abducted soldiers to their homes and said that Resolution #1701 would not be implemented in full without the soldiers’ release and return home.

Prime Minister Olmert thanked UN Secy.-Gen. Annan for his efforts regarding the recruitment of the international force and its deployment in southern Lebanon. The Prime Minister stressed the importance of deploying the force both along the Syrian-Lebanese border and at Lebanon’s airports and seaports in order to prevent the renewed supply of weapons to Hizbullah. He added that the arrival to, and deployment in southern Lebanon of, the international force would enable Israel to leave Lebanon and deploy beyond the Blue Line.

The meeting was held in a good atmosphere. Prime Minister Olmert again expressed Israel’s regret over the deaths of four UNIFIL soldiers during the fighting.