(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
 
This afternoon, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spoke with the Prime Minister of Italy, Mr. Romano Prodi, regarding the international force in Lebanon.

The prime minister remarked that Israel considers sending military troops from the Italian army to be part of the international force in Lebanon to be crucial to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, and that this would be an important contribution to peace and stability in the Middle East.

Prime Minister Olmert said it was important that the force arrive as soon as possible, and stressed the importance that Italy lead the international force, as well as send troops to oversee the border crossings between Syria and Lebanon.

The Italian prime minister said that it was their intention to send a significant military force so that they could carry out their mission, and that he intended to raise the matter before the Italian parliament as soon as possible.

The two prime ministers agreed that the matter should be expedited, and that they would be in touch in the coming days