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Israeli PM in Washington for Talks with Bush, Rice


Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is in the United States for his first meeting with President Bush since taking office earlier this month.

Mr. Olmert is expected to use his talks on Tuesday at the White House to outline his plan to redraw Israel's borders, with or without agreement from the Palestinians. The plan includes removing some Israeli settlements in the West, Bank and strengthening others.

Mr. Olmert is also expected to discuss Iran's nuclear ambitions, which Israel views as a threat.

Later Monday, Mr. Olmert meets with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He is also scheduled to address both houses of the U.S. Congress on Wednesday.

Israel refuses to hold talks with the current Palestinian government, led by the Islamic militant group Hamas.

But after his return from Washington, Mr. Olmert is expected to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

On Sunday, Mr. Abbas met with top Israeli officials for the first time since Hamas won Palestinian elections earlier this year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.
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