Israeli P.M.: Bush is friend of Israel

Nov. 4, 2008 at 5:35 PM

JERUSALEM, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Whatever his approval ratings may be in the United States as he prepares to leave office, President Bush has a big fan in Israel, the lame duck prime minister.

"His name will be engraved in golden letters on the heart of the State of Israel," Ehud Olmert told Ynetnews.

Olmert also said Israel has no reason to fear either Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama or Republican John McCain.

"Whoever is elected will be a friend to Israel," he said. "I know them both, and they are both our friends."

Olmert himself remains in office pending parliamentary elections, called because Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, his successor as leader of the Kadima Party, was unable to form a government.

Olmert said that Israel also has to drop the "illusion" that the United States will negotiate settlements with the Palestinians and Syrians, committing itself to solving its problems.

"This illusion says that if we wait for the next administration, there will be a miracle and our problems will be solved," he said.

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