|Olmert asks Russia to play greater role in conflict|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Thursday, 12 October 2006 00:00|
This link from my friend Marc...
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has stated his desire for greater Russian involvement in the Middle East. His comments come shortly before Olmert is due to travel to Moscow to celebrate 15 years of diplomatic with the Russian Federation. Olmert, it seems, desperately needs positive Russian influence in the Islamic world in order to help achieve peace in the region.
Quote: "In an interview with the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS, Olmert noted that as a global superpower and a dominant player in Middle East politics, Russia "could apply all of its considerable influence" to helping resolve the decades-old Israeli-Arab conflict. Olmert said he intends to "appeal to President [Vladimir] Putin for Russia to more actively pursue such a policy in the region." The interview will be broadcast on Russian state television prior to Olmert's visit.
But Olmert may not have to do too much persuading during his visit. Earlier in the year Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov floated the idea of holding a new international peace summit to help solve the situation in the Middle East. President Putin also made a similar suggestion last year. Ariel Sharon received a promise from Putin that Russia would never do anything to harm Israel, and Putin says that promise also applies to him. But I wonder how long Russian patience would bear up under an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. According to retired US Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney, such an attack could be on the cards for no later than the Autumn of 2007.