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Days before the release of the Winograd committee's interim report, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has begun courting leading left-wing intellectuals, including author Amos Oz.

Olmert met with Oz some 10 days ago at his official residence in Jerusalem. At the private meeting, which lasted for over three hours, the two men discussed the political situation and the prime minister's diplomatic plans.

In recent weeks, Olmert has met with several other prominent leftists, both on an individual basis and in groups.

One prominent figure on the left who was familiar with details of the meetings told Haaretz that Olmert had succeeded in convincing some of those he met with that he is genuinely interested in reaching a permanent agreement with the Palestinians. "They came out of the meeting with a positive feeling about Olmert's intentions," he said.

Both the Prime Minister's Bureau and Amos Oz declined to comment on the meeting.