Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said they patched up their rocky relationship after a meeting on Sunday, just four days after Livni publicly called on Olmert to resign and announced that she would challenge him for Kadima's leadership. Aides in Olmert's office, who have said consistently since last Wednesday that he had not decided whether to fire the foreign minister, said Sunday he no longer had any intention of doing so.
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Following the meeting, which came after the weekly cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister's Office put out a short statement saying the two met and "agreed to continue working together as part of the government headed by Ehud Olmert.
The prime minister and the foreign minister also dealt with diplomatic issues on the agenda and agreed to continue to work to push the diplomatic process forward." After speaking with Olmert, Livni went to a meeting with visiting Slovenian Foreign Minister Dmitrij Rupel, with whom she signed a bilateral cultural agreement.
Asked as she left the brief signing ceremony with Rupel about her meeting with Olmert, she just smiled and kept walking. Her aides were no more forthcoming, saying the statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office would be the only one on the get-together.
Before the meeting, Livni said that from her point of view the session with Olmert was meant to deal with diplomatic matters and how to move the diplomatic process forward. "Israel's foreign policy is not a personal matter, not mine nor the prime minister's," she said.
Both Livni and Olmert are scheduled to meet separately on Sunday with visiting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and Livni is planning to go to Cairo on Thursday.
Like Livni, Olmert also met Sunday with Rupel, whose country will assume the influential presidency of the EU in January 2008.
Olmert, according to his office, briefed Rupel on recent diplomatic developments in the region, emphasizing the necessity for an end to terrorism as a condition for progress on the diplomatic front, and the role that "moderate Arab states" could play in pushing the diplomatic process forward.