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Olmert: Security, Peace Top Priorities of Israeli Government
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One year after his assumption of the governmental leadership, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Friday said that security and peace were and will still be the major priorities of his government.

During an interview with Xinhua in Jerusalem, Olmert recalled the day a year ago, when he became the acting prime minister to replace ailing Ariel Sharon.

"Actually today is exactly one year from the day I first time sat at the head of the cabinet."

"I summoned the cabinet early morning on Jan. 5, 2006 to report to the cabinet of the illness of Ariel Sharon," Olmert said. "So it was a very significant and very special day for me and for the people of Israel."

Olmert said that, from the very beginning of his premiership, he knew there were two major priorities for him to strive for. "One is security of our people, and another is to make every possible effort to achieve peace between us and our neighbors," Olmert said.

"Peace means security and security is the basis for the peace. So these two issues were and still are the main priority for my government."

Olmert, who replaced the ailing Arial Sharon in January 2006 as acting prime minister, was sworn in as prime minister last May after a victory in the general election. 

(Xinhua News Agency January 6, 2007)

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