(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this evening (Sunday), 27 August 2006, spoke with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who telephoned in order to update the Prime Minister on the dispatch of the international force led by France and Italy. He said that the force would deploy in about a week and added that he has appealed to other countries to join it.

Prime Minister Olmert said that the most important thing from Israel’s point-of-view is the immediate release of the abducted soldiers. He added that according to UN Security Council Resolution #1701, the Lebanese government is responsible for the fate of the soldiers. The prime minister said that Israel ascribes great importance to the deployment of the international force on the Syrian-Lebanese border and at the air and maritime entry points into Lebanon.

The two men agreed to discuss matters further at their Wednesday meeting in Jerusalem.