Netanyahu – closer to deal?
Photo: AFP

Likud sources: Deal with Lieberman imminent

Likud sources report significant progress following meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman Wednesday; coalition deal between Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu may be signed by Thursday, sources say

First coalition deal to be finalized? Sources closely familiar with coalition talks estimated Wednesday that Likud and Israel Beiteinu negotiation teams may sign a deal as early as Thursday.


However, sources in Yisrael Beiteinu expressed some reservations, saying that an agreement may only be signed in a few days. Party MK David Rotem said that significant disagreements still persist on issues related to civil marriages and conversion to Judaism.


On Wednesday, Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu met with Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman for a face-to-face session at the Knesset. Following the meeting, Likud sources expressed optimism and said that significant progress was made in the meeting. However, Yisrael Beiteinu sources said some issues have not been finalized yet.


On Thursday, negotiation teams for both parties are scheduled to meet and work on drafting their coalition agreement. During Wednesday's meeting, Netanyahu and Lieberman were reportedly able to finalize some issues.


On Monday, Netanyahu said that coalition negotiations were far from over. Speaking at a Likud faction meeting, Netanyahu said that "the negotiations are in their midst and we are focusing on substance as well as on the portfolios." However, Likud sources told Ynet at the time that most issues involving Yisrael Beiteinu were finalized.


"There is still no agreement because we continue to discuss with them the sensitive issue of government portfolios," one source said.


Efrat Weiss contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 03.11.09, 19:02
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