Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met with US President George W. Bush in Washington in a 50-minute private meeting, discussing the Iranian nuclear threat.
“I think it's very important for the world to unite with one common voice to say to the Iranians that if you choose to continue forward, you'll be isolated,” Bush said. One example of isolation begins with economic isolation. “The Iranians need to understand that if they will continue with their nuclear program there will be consequences.”
In addition to the Iranian threat, Bush and Olmert discussed the situation in Iraq, Palestinian and Israeli negotiations and also the possibility of beginning negotiations with Syria.
Olmert indicated that there is a need for everyone to prevent Teheran from enriching uranium.
“The Iranian part of our talk was very comprehensive, very serious and very significant. I can definitely say that I left with an extraordinary feeling from this talk. The president has been saying for some time now that he is in favor of a dialogue with the Iranians, as long as the technological threshold conditions exist to prevent them from enriching uranium," Olmert said.
Concerning negotiations with Syria, Olmert said there are a number of conditions that need to exist: the behavior of Syria is close to Hizballah, they support terrorism in Iraq and provide refuge for Khaled Mashaal who operates terror against Israel.
“All these things need to be stopped. I hope one day we will be able to create dialogue,” said Olmert.
During a press conference after the meeting, Olmert tried to flatter Bush, but instead embarrassed him. Olmert said that he has no doubt that the American operation in Iraq is a dramatic and positive contribution to stability in the Middle East, stating that American presence in Iraq has strategic importance to Israel and that US withdrawal would be significant and must be taken into account.
This came following the searing defeat of the Republic party as Democrats won both the Senate and the House and are in favor of leaving Iraq.