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Decisive meeting? – Livni and Netanyahu Photo: Gil Yohanan
Decisive meeting? – Livni and Netanyahu Photo: Gil Yohanan

Netanyahu: Meeting with Livni decisive

Will Kadima join government? Likud leader prepares for next meeting with Kadima chairwoman; sources who spoke with Netanyahu say it appears he intends to tempt Livni with additional offers

Attila Somfalvi
Published: 02.26.09, 00:47 / Israel News

Two days before his second meeting with Tzipi Livni, Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu is hinting that he plans to take additional steps in order to bring Kadima into his government.


"I think the meeting on Friday will be decisive and meaningful," Netanyahu said Wednesday in closed-door sessions.


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Various sources who spoke with the Likud leader said they were uncertain whether he was optimistic ahead of the meeting. However, one source said that "it appears he intends to further accommodate Livni. He genuinely wishes to bring Kadima into the government and establish a broad coalition."


Meanwhile, sources close to Livni said she may change her position on joining the coalition should the prime minister-designate unequivocally clear up three issues: His support for the two-state solution, changing the government system, and civil marriages.


"The two most significant main issues are the diplomatic and religious ones," a Livni associate said. A senior Kadima official said that "if Netanyahu will back the two-state solution and offer a rotation, it will be difficult to say no to him."


'What's the difference between us, Hamas?'

Livni associates also said that Netanyahu will be rejected by Livni out of hand should he bring up the question of portfolios during their upcoming meeting.


"She's uninterested in portfolios," a source close to Livni said. "She wants unequivocal clarifications regarding the path to be adopted by the government and its Basic Lines."


"Netanyahu needs to decide what kind of prime minister he wishes to be – the PM of a rejectionist government, or a PM that can promote fateful issues," one source said. "If he rejects Annapolis and the Road Map initiative, what's the difference between us and Hamas?"


Meanwhile, senior Likud officials said that Kadima may end up joining the government later on.


"Even if it doesn't happen immediately, it can happen in a few months," a Likud source said.


Kobi Nahshoni contributed to the story


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