(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

US President Barack Obama this afternoon (Wednesday), 21 January 2009, spoke with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who commended him on his inauguration yesterday, wished him success and said that both he and Israeli people found the ceremony very moving.

Prime Minister Olmert updated US President Obama on the situation in the Gaza Strip and said that he hopes that the efforts of Israel, Egypt, the US and the European countries to prevent the smuggling of weapons into Gaza would succeed so that it would be possible to stabilize the ceasefire and advance the diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the future.

Prime Minister Olmert said that Israel would invest effort in supplying the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip and would work to improve the Palestinian economic situation in Judea and Samaria.