Peres urges Olmert to meet Abbas

Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres urged Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Thursday to meet Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas upon Olmert's return from Washington at the end of May. Peres said it was of paramount importance to assist the moderate Palestinian leaders and isolate Hamas, whom he blamed for "starving the Palestinian people." On the Iranian nuclear issue, Peres said that if Teheran was to achieve nuclear power it will flow into terrorist organizations, and that the nuclear threat would "crop up in every international disagreement." He called on all nations to continue in their struggle to prevent nuclear arms from getting into the hands of Iran and its leaders. In reaction to criticism of his comments made earlier this week saying that Iran too could be wiped off the map, Peres said that Israel needed to be strong in the face of its aggressors and was not going to be pushed around by Iran's leaders.