(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, this morning (Wednesday), 16 January 2008, accepted Minister Avigdor Liberman’s resignation from the Government. The Prime Minister thanked him for his service in the Government and for his considerable contributions to a series of Government security and social measures.

Prime Minister Olmert made it clear that there is no alternative to conducting serious diplomatic negotiations in order to reach peace. This is the order of the day and is dictated by national responsibility. The Government has also set the full assurance of Israel’s security as a clear condition for the implementation of any future agreement. The Prime Minister is determined to continue the diplomatic negotiations out of recognition that they contain the only real chance to assure the peace and security of Israel’s citizens.