Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is not expected to say anything new in his speech tomorrow at the opening of the Knesset's winter session, according to government sources in Jerusalem. The sources said Olmert is now occupied with talks to expand the coalition, and under such circumstances it is customary to seek consensus and not to present controversial stands.
Olmert is set to leave Tuesday for Moscow, his first visit since taking office. At his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin, the two leaders will discuss efforts to contain Iran's nuclear program, and Olmert will try to persuade Putin to agree to sanctions on Iran.
Russian opposition to sanctions has been the main stumbling block against implementation.
Olmert is also expected to tell Putin that the North Korean nuclear test last week should be a warning regarding Iran. While in Moscow, Olmert is also expected to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and with Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, as well as with leaders of the Jewish community. He will return to Israel Thursday night.
Meanwhile, the cabinet is set to receive an intelligence briefing today by the deputy head of the Shin Bet security service, and from the head of research in the Israel Defense Forces intelligence branch, Brigadier General Yossi Baidatz.
The cabinet is also expected to make Yaakov Edri, minister for Jerusalem affairs, responsible for providing civilian services to the Palestinians living along the separation fence around Jerusalem.
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