'Test for Israel.' Netanyahu
Photo: AFP
Ehud Barak
Photo: Dan Bronfeld

Coalition talks: Netanyahu, Barak discuss security

Prime minister-designate meets Labor chief as part of efforts to establish broad coalition; leaders discuss Iranian threat, agree to meet again in coming days

Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu met Labor Chairman Ehud Barak Sunday night as part of the Likud leader's efforts to forge a broad coalition.


Barak said the discussion, which took place at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Tel Aviv, had centered on the challenges Israel faces on the "political, security, and economic fronts". He said they would continue to meet over the next few days.


Netanyahu, for his part, said the meeting focused on the Iranian threat, the security situation in south Israel and the economic crisis.


"Israel stands before a test, with a plethora of challenges we have not known or faced for dozens of years," he said.


"Israel is not my or anyone's private business, and we need to ensure its security. We decided we would continue to speak."


Netanyahu wants Barak to stay on as defense minister, but for now Labor remains adamant in its objection to join a Likud-led government. However, sources close to the Labor chief said the party should not rule out the possibility of joining the government.


"Sitting on the opposition with Kadima will be catastrophic for Labor," one of the sources told Ynet, "but being a part of Netanyahu's government means death.


On Friday Netanyahu met with Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni, but the meeting was cut short after the Likud leader refused to include the "two states for two people solution" in his government's basic guidelines.


פרסום ראשון: 03.01.09, 23:58
 new comment
This will delete your current comment