Olmert: Progress in talks with PA important due to sympathetic US gov't

Speaking to government ministers about the status of peace negotiations with the Palestinians, the prime minister said that progress in the area was critically important given the proximity of US presidential elections. "There is one thing for certain, this government is especially friendly," Olmert said during the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday. "We cannot miss the opportunity of this advantage. Therefore the element of time holds special importance. We must not lose this. [Things won't necessarily be the same] with the next government." "We are working with the aim of advancemen," Olmert assured. "We don't yet have formal, written documents, but we're working with the intent of making progress towards building a foundation for a solution, within the framework of the time frame we presented. Of course there are arguments, long discussions. This issue is important for me." "We don't know what will be with the next American government," the prime minister told ministers. "I am running on the assumption that every American president will preserve the special friendship, that was built on mutual values and on mutual interests."