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Pouring on political bravado in a speech late on Monday, Olmert said he demanded to talk to Bush with only 10 minutes to spare before a U.N. Security Council vote on Thursday on a resolution opposed by Israel calling for an immediate ceasefire.
"When we saw that the secretary of state, for reasons we did not really understand, wanted to vote in favour of the U.N. resolution ... I looked for President Bush and they told me he was in Philadelphia making a speech," Olmert said.
"I said, 'I don't care. I have to talk to him now,'" Olmert said, describing Bush, who leaves office on Jan. 20, as "an unparalleled friend" of Israel.
"They got him off the podium, brought him to another room and I spoke to him. I told him, 'You can't vote in favour of this resolution.' He said, 'Listen, I don't know about it, I didn't see it, I'm not familiar with the phrasing.'"