Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu intends to swear-in his new government in the third week of March, sources close to the Likud leader said Friday.
Speaking at closed-door sessions, Netanyahu reportedly said that the task of forming the coalition will end by the end of next week, with all government portfolios being divided among the various coalition partners by then.
Coalition talks: Bibi, Lieberman optimistic / Attila Somfalvi
PM-designate, Yisrael Beiteinu leader meet, say portfolio assignment not an obstacle
Sources familiar with coalition talks said the PM-designate will first hand out portfolios to his coalition partners, before designating ministers from among Likud's ranks.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu's office denied reports that the Likud chairman and Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman agreed to make the latter Israel's next foreign minister and also grant the party the Justice Ministry.
Likud officials estimate that Lieberman will indeed ultimately become the next foreign minister, but some said that Netanyahu will prefer to keep the Justice portfolio in Likud's hands.