Olmert, Putin discuss Iranian threat

Thursday, October 19, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
The Iranian nuclear threat and the possibility of Teheran using weapons of mass destruction in the near future was the focus of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

"The Iranian issue is at the top of Israel's lists of problems, and we don’t have the privilege of allowing such a country reach nuclear capability,” Olmert said.

Olmert said this is something Israel doesn’t take lightly.

“For us, when the leader of a country says that he wants to destroy us, it doesn’t sound like a vague statement; this is something which we should prepare for and prevent using all acceptable means,” he said.

Olmert emphasized the necessity of Israel and Russia strengthening relations and recognized Putin’s improvement in understanding the situation.

Putin said, “We both aspire to deal with the threats of the 21st century together. The situation in the Middle East demands from all sides to fight the war on terror, the war on international hostility and the desire to solve the conflicts.”

Putin also responded to recent allegations about Israeli President Moshe Katsav’s indecent acts with women.

“Your president certainly surprised us. I met with him and did not think of him as the kind of man who would be with 10 women,” Putin said laughing. “We are all jealous of him.”

Olmert, embarrassed by the statement, said, “Don’t be jealous of him; this is no joke.”

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