Olmert: Kadima must stay unified

PM: I don't expect problems within the party following publication of final Winograd report.

olmert nervous 224 88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
olmert nervous 224 88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday addressed the anticipated criticism which is expected to follow Wednesday's publication of the final Winograd Committee report, telling Kadima ministers that the party must strive to stay unified. "We must not create camps within Kadima," Olmert said during a Kadima faction meeting. "It is bad for the government and bad for the party." "Kadima is stronger than people think," the prime minister continued. "We proved that we are able to act in situations which demand consideration and understanding." "I don't expect problems within Kadima following the publication of the Winograd report," Olmert concluded. The statements of unity come ahead of a meeting between Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and representatives of the bereaved families of soldiers lost in the Second Lebanon War and reserve soldiers, who have repeatedly called upon Olmert to quit. During the faction meeting, Livni explained her willingness to sit with opponents of the prime minister, saying that "there was no choice but to answer their request. "We are all members of this government that made decisions which influenced these peoples' lives. These meetings weren't easy in the past, and won't be easy this time either," Livni said. "There is no such thing as good or bad timing for these kinds of forums," the foreign minister continued, adding that such meetings were the least the government could do. Livni also attacked those who opposed the meeting, saying that "there are those in Kadima that are suspicious of these meetings, but we have a serious problem with the public faith, and the worst thing to do is to close ourselves in." Vice Premier Haim Ramon backed Livni's statements, saying that infighting would only play into the hands of Kadima's opponents. "Let's not fall into the trap of our adversaries, who want to topple us," Ramon said. "Our opponents are trying to create a divide between the bereaved families and the reservists, and the government. We must work together to support those who participate in the process."