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Olmert: Israel, US to Boycott Palestinian Government

  • VOA News

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says he and US President George Bush have agreed to boycott the Palestinian unity government if it does not meet international demands.

Mr. Olmert says there will be no cooperation unless the Palestinian government renounces violence, recognizes Israel's right to exist, and honors previous peace deals. Mr. Olmert said he spoke with Mr. Bush about the issue by telephone on Friday.

Mr. Olmert spoke as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice began talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. She met later with Mr. Olmert, ahead of a three-way conference on Monday.

Officials say Rice told the Palestinian president that the unity deal does not meet international demands but that Washington is reserving judgment until a government is formed. Officials say Mr. Abbas defended the deal.

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