Photo: Yaron Brener
Coalition talks: Bibi, Lieberman optimistic
PM-designate, Yisrael Beiteinu leader meet, say portfolio assignment not an obstacle
Getting closer to a deal? Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu and Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman met Thursday evening in an attempt to advance the formation of a new government.


The two spoke for more than two hours, discussing security and economic issues and the progress achieved so far in coalition talks. Following the meeting, both Netanyahu and Lieberman said that they were able to agree on several issues, adding that the issue of government portfolios will be discussed at a later stage.


The two political leaders noted that they believe the issue will not be an obstacle in establishing Israel's next government. Meanwhile, Netanyahu associates noted that the PM-designate may head the Finance Ministry for the time being in order to advance several urgent moves, such as the state budget, as quickly as possible.


However, despite the positive atmosphere, some disagreements still persist between the two parties, mostly on issues of religion and state.


Netanyahu and Lieberman associates maintained a veil of secrecy over the meeting's time and location throughout the day. However, Ynet learned that the meeting was held at Netanyahu's office at the Knesset. The efforts to keep the meeting secret were so intense that only the two leaders, their bodyguards, and their drivers were invited to the Knesset.


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