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Israel Ready To Be 'Partner In Peace' With Palestinians

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (left) at the White House with President George W. Bush yesterday (epa) May 24, 2006 -- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today said Israel would be a "willing partner in peace" with the Palestinians, but that Israel would draw its own borders in the West Bank should it conclude it has no one to talk with.

Olmert made his remarks at a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress. He said Israel "cannot wait for the Palestinians forever," and that Hamas is the main obstacle to peace talks.

"The Palestinian Authority is ruled by Hamas, an organization committed to vehement anti-Semitism, the glorification of terror and the total destruction of Israel," he said. "As long as these are their guiding principles, they can never be a partner."

Olmert also remarked on the Iranian nuclear crisis, saying the international community needs to confront Iran over its nuclear ambitions because they pose a threat to global security.

(AP, AFP, Reuters)