PM to Annan: Soldiers' release is Israeli priority

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan spoke with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday and said that the deployment of the multinational force in Lebanon would begin within a week. "I have approached other countries about joining the force," he added. The Prime Minister's Office reported that Olmert told Annan that "the most important thing to Israel is the immediate release of the kidnapped soldiers," and that the responsibility for that rested on the Lebanese government. The two agreed to continue discussing the topic in their upcoming meeting in Jerusalem on Wednesday.