Olmert Leaves for Washington

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert leaves for a week in Washington Monday night under the cloud of criminal investigations in what some analysts are calling the swan song of his political career.

Olmert will meet with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Tuesday and later attend an evening celebration hosted by AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee).

On Wednesday, Olmert will meet with President George Bush and later with Vice President Richard Cheney at a dinner meeting.

The prime minister will also meet with Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, though Republican candidate John McCain may only be speaking with Olmert by telephone if he's unable to make the AIPAC event.

On Olmert's agenda are arms deals with the US military, including the purchase of F-35 fighter jets and long-range radar systems to supplement the nation's defense systems.

Several Israeli-manufactured systems will be installed in the F-35s, which are expected to be operational within four years.

The F-35 is meant to eventually replace the Israel Air Force's F-16s.

Before leaving for the US Monday evening, Olmert met with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and PA chief negotiator Ahmed Qureia and their respective delegations also attended the meeting.

Source: YNet news

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