Netanyahu and Peres
Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO
Netanyahu asks Peres to weigh in on coalition talks
Prime minister-designate asks president to try and convince Likud, Labor to join unity government; both parties still reluctant

Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Shimon Peres Monday and asked him to facilitate the formation of a national unity government which would include the Labor and Kadima parties.


Likud source said that the coalition talks between the party and Kadima were at an impasse, due to fundamental disagreements about the government's core policies and the rotation in premiership.


Earlier Monday, Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni said that her party's stance in the negotiations has remained unchanged, adding that if she "thought there was a genuine wish to form a real unity government I would explore the matter wholeheartedly."


Labor Chairman Ehud Barak also met with Netanyahu - to no avail, according to Labor sources.


According to his presidential mandate, Netanyahu has to present Peres with the outline of a coalition by Sunday, or ask for a 14-day extension. The Likud chair has yet to apply for additional time.


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