Prime Minister Ehud Olmert opened the Knesset winter session Monday evening by calling on Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to meet with him and negotiate for peace. He also said that Israel wanted to make peace with Syria, but that the country would not be able to talk with a pro-terror leader like President Bashar Assad. Olmert stated that he intends to utilize every possible opportunity for real negotiations with the Palestinians.
Commenting on the Lebanese issue, Olmert said: "I wish to take this opportunity and call on the Lebanese prime minister to meet with me directly in order to make peace between Israel and Lebanon. I know that he is under a lot of pressure from home and from the outside. Israel can be a natural, serious partner for a peace-seeking country like Lebanon."
According to the prime minister, "the campaign in Lebanon has ended and its consequences have influenced the entire region. We are drawing lessons and facing the shortcomings that have been revealed during the war. It's important to make clear that this has been a vital campaign. We have gained some significant achievements in this campaign."
The PM called on the Palestinians to resume negotiations, saying: "We have no intention to govern over another people," he said. Olmert also stated his intentions to change the governmental system and establish a constitution for Israel.