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Israel: talks with Abbas, Rice to be held on Feb.19
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2007-02-07 10:20
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Tuesday that he would hold a three-way meeting with Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Feb. 19, Israeli daily Ha'aretz reported on its website.

Olmert was quoted by Ha'aretz as saying that the meeting will take place on Feb. 19, but he did not say where the meeting would take place.

Olmert and Rice agreed to hold a three-way meeting in the near future with Abbas during Rice's latest visit to the region on Jan.15.

During the visit, Olmert and Rice also agreed to continue bolstering Abbas, who is considered as a moderate Palestinian force.

According to Ha'aretz, Olmert also said that he hoped Abbas, due to meet with Palestinian governing Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) leaders in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, would not forge a unity government with Hamas that fell short of meeting Western demands to recognize Israel and renounce violence.

"I hope that Abu Mazen (Abbas) will resist all the temptations and all the pressures to cooperate with Hamas and to establish a government that does not recognize these basic principles," Olmert was quoted as saying.

Olmert was also quoted by the daily as addressing the Iranian nuclear issue that Iran's nuclear plans were not as advanced as Tehran claimed, and it was still possible to put pressure on Iran to halt the program without resorting to violence.

"I think there is a way to stop the Iranians from moving forward on their nuclear program without violent actions," Olmert said.

He said that Tehran is not as close to the threshold as it pretends to be, and there is still time to fight in a responsible, comprehensive and powerful manner, Ha'aretz said.

Source:Xinhuanet 
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