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Olmert to quit: Reaction in quotes

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's announcement that he will step down in September has drawn reaction from around the world. Here is a selection of key quotes.

TZIPI LIVNI, FOREIGN MINISTER AND FRONTRUNNER TO LEAD OLMERT'S PARTY

The personal decision was not simple, but it was correct. Kadima must continue to act in a way that will preserve its unity and ability to lead.

BINYAMIN NETANYAHU, LIKUD PARTY LEADER

This government has finished its mission, irrespective of who will head Kadima.

Everyone in this government is responsible for a string of failures. We must let the people decide through new elections.

EHUD BARAK, ISRAELI DEFENCE MINISTER AND LABOUR PARTY LEADER

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's decision was appropriate and correct.

NABIL ABU RUDEINA, SPOKESMAN FOR PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS

This is an internal Israeli matter. What matters to the Palestinian Authority is that there is an Israeli head of state that adheres to the peace process.

RIAD MALKI, PALESTINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER

It's true that Olmert was enthusiastic about the peace process, and he spoke about this process with great attention, but this process has not achieved any progress or breakthrough.

SAMI ABU ZUHRI, HAMAS LEADER

The announcement by Olmert - his desire to resign - is an indicator of the deteriorating situation in the occupation state and is a victory for Hamas movement and the Palestinian resistance movements.

We consider this announcement as a huge blow for the Palestinian team... who went ahead with the project of [political] settlement assuming that they will find a solution... by the end of this year.

SEAN McCORMACK, US STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN

We are going to look forward to working with all responsible Israeli leaders in the government, whether it is this government or future governments.

Certainly within Israel there seems to be great deal of support for finally getting to the point where you have two states living side by side in peace and security.

DAN MARGALIT, ISRAELI POLITICAL ANALYST

A sad end to a miserable career.



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