(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Following are Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s remarks following his meeting today (Monday), 15 January 2007, with US Secretary of State Dr. Condoleeza Rice:

"This morning I met with American Secretary of State Dr. Condoleeza Rice and we agreed to hold a three-way meeting with Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen in order to consider relations between us and the Palestinians. However, there is no doubt that we must – at the same time – also continue the bilateral meetings between us and them.

It is important to note that we agreed, and it is also the position of the President of the United States, that any Palestinian government that wants to the backing of the international community, will have to accept the four Quartet principles and the sequence included in the Roadmap, recognize the right of the Jewish State of Israel to exist within secure borders and halt terrorism.

If there will be a Palestinian government that accepts these principles, we will accept it. A Palestinian government that does not recognize these principles will be accepted by neither the international community nor us.

What is also important, ultimately, is that every matter is examined and coordinated between us in advance. The activism, which the American Secretary of State has demonstrated, with the encouragement of President Bush, is praiseworthy. This is in addition to the direct negotiations between us."