Israel’s foreign minister tells Olmert to resign

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said on Wednesday she told Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that he should resign and that she would seek to take over as leader of his centrist Kadima party.

“I told the prime minister that I thought to resign was the right thing to do,” Livni told reporters after meeting Olmert in private in the wake of a commission of inquiry report rebuking him for his handling of last year’s war in Lebanon.

Olmert has vowed to stay on.

“There are others saying what I have been saying. I believe the prime minister listens to things that are said. I don’t know what the outcome will be,” Livni said.

She said she would oppose an early parliamentary election in Israel, arguing that Kadima should continue in power.

“Kadima needs to choose its leadership in a democratic manner, in primary, and when the time comes I plan to submit my candidacy,” Livni said. “Now is the time to restore the public’s trust in the government.”