US President George W. Bush called Ehud Olmert on Thursday, speaking with the acting Israeli prime minister for the first time since Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a massive stroke last week, according to a statement from Olmert's office.
Bush expressed concern for Sharon, who remained unconscious in critical, but stable condition. Sharon and Bush formed a strong relationship over the past five years.
"I wanted to tell you that our hearts are with Ariel Sharon, his family, his friends and all the people of Israel," Bush told Olmert, according to the statement. "We know this is a difficult time for you, and whatever I can do to help I will."
Bush also said that he would continue to implement the joint vision that he and Sharon had for promoting Middle East peace. He asked Olmert to tell Sharon's sons, Omri and Gilad, that Bush admires their father and wishes him the best, according to the statement.