WASHINGTON, D.C. - Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his wife Aliza are to dine this evening at the White House with President George W. Bush and his wife Laura. The farewell dinner for the outgoing leaders and their wives is to be the centerpiece in Olmert's visit here, which is being conducted with less media fanfare than usual. Most of the media outlets in Israel chose not to send reporters on Olmert's plane, and there is little interest in his reactions to events in Israel.
Olmert had dinner Sunday night with Eliott Abrams, the deputy national security adviser who holds the "Israel portfolio" at the White House. This morning he is to meet with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, to prepare for his meeting with the president. Olmert will also meet with Vice President Richard Cheney.
Only one hour was set aside for the working meeting between Bush and Olmert before the private dinner. Olmert would like to talk to the president about "anchoring" American security pledges that Bush will pass on to president-elect Barack Obama. At the top of the list is $30 billion in military aid over the coming decade.
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