Olmert undermines Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas ahead of White House talks
Two days before his meeting with President George W. Bush in Washington, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert described Mahmoud Abbas as “powerless” and “helpless.” At the same time, his foreign minister Tzipi Livni told the Palestinian leader at Sharm el Sheikh that Olmert sees not reason not to meet him in the future.
debkafile adds: This subject is likely to be at issue in the prime minister’s forthcoming talks with Bush, given the US position that the PA and its leader must be propped up against Hamas. Another dispute centers on the timeline for the danger from Iran. Olmert also said “Iran is only months away from joining the club of nations that can make a nuclear weapon.” The view held by the Bush administration is that Iran is still at least four years away from a nuclear weapons capability.
The Israeli prime minister will also meet the vice president Dick Cheney, the secretaries of state and defense and the national security adviser, as well as addressing the two houses of Congress.