Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, who plans to visit Germany in the
the coming days, slammed the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter
Steinmeier for visiting Syria and considered the move as a “mistake”.

The statements of Olmert came during an interview with the German TV N24, Sat. 1.

Olmert said that Syria has close ties with Iran and that both countries support Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Hamas movement in Palestine.

Olmert also claimed that Syria is supporting Iraqi insurgents who are responsible for the death of Iraqi civilians.

“I never heard Mr. Steinmeier slamming the conducts of the Syrian government”, Olmert stated, “Syrian is not a good platform for him to visit”.

Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that Steinmeier urged Syrian officials to moderate the demands of Hezbollah which calls on the US-backed Iraqi government to resign.

Steinmeier said that his trip is an attempt to “at least to test whether difficult partners such as Syria can be brought onto a constructive path in the Middle East peace process", Haaretz added.

Steinmeier also asked Syria to practice pressure on Hamas leadership in Damascus in order to facilitate peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Olmert will begin his trip on Monday, and will stop in Germany, Italy and intends to meet the Pope.