Israel's Olmert to meet Turkish PM in London

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PARIS, Oct 22 (Reuters) Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will meet Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan tomorrow in London, Olmert's spokeswoman said, for talks likely to focus on Iran's nuclear ambitions and Israeli-Palestinian peace moves.

Olmert, who arrived in Paris yesterday, is to hold talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy today and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in London tomorrow -- his first meetings with the two leaders since they took office.

Olmert has said he wants to discuss during the three-day visit Israeli concerns over Iran's nuclear programme and preparations for a US-led conference on Palestinian statehood expected to convene in late November or December.

Miri Eisin, a spokeswoman for Olmert, said a meeting with Erdogan in the British capital had been added to the Israeli leader's schedule.

Israel has been calling for a new UN Security Council Resolution aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Iran rejects accusations it is seeking to develop a nuclear bomb, saying it wants nuclear technology for peaceful civilian purposes such as power generation, and has refused to heed UN Security Council demands to halt sensitive uranium enrichment.

Olmert and Erdogan will meet two weeks after Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan visited Israel, where he discussed the discovery on Turkish territory of fuel tanks allegedly dropped by Israeli planes that raided Syria in September.

Israel has confirmed that it carried out an air strike on its northern neighbour on September 6 but it has not described the target. Syria has said only that it was a building under construction.

The New York Times has reported the target was a partially built Syrian nuclear reactor apparently modelled on one in North Korea used for stockpiling atomic bomb fuel.

Turkey, a NATO member that maintains good relations with both Syria and Israel, has said it had no prior knowledge of the Israeli raid.

Erdogan's government is under public pressure to launch a big cross-border operation into northern Iraq to crush Kurdish guerrillas operating from there after they killed 17 Turkish soldiers.

Reuters SG GC1457

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