Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: AP
Eli Yishai
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Lieberman: New government to be presented Monday
Likud, Shas negotiation teams deem another round of coalition talks unsuccessful; Yisrael Beiteinu chairman calls on right-wing parties to compromise
The Likud and Shas negotiation teams ended yet another round of coalition talks with no concrete results. Tuesday night saw the two parties end their three-hour meeting without the coveted agreement, but a Shas source told Ynet that both teams have agreed to resume their deliberations on Wednesday morning.


Earlier Tuesday, Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu and Shas Chairman Eli Yishai were rumored to take part in the meeting, as were Knesset Member Gideon Sa'ar, head of the Likud's negotiation team, and Shas Minister Ariel Atias; but sources in the haredi party estimated ahead of time that the sides would not be signing an agreement just yet.


Despite the efforts to speed up the negotiations with the right-wing parties, the situation in the talks with the National Union and Habayit Hayehudi parties is still unclear.


As for United Torah Judaism, according to estimates the agreements with Shas on the yeshiva funding will satisfy the Ashkenazi Orthodox party as well.


Will Livni and Netanyahu meet again?

And what about Kadima? Sources close to Chairwoman Tzipi Livni said Tuesday evening that the ball was in Netanyahu's court and that he should decide who his partners are. Partysources did not rule out the possibility of another meeting or conversation between Livni and Netanyahu.


The only party which has already signed a coalition deal with the Likud is Yisrael Beiteinu. Chairman Avigdor Lieberman, who is slated to be appointed Israel's next foreign minister, said at the start of a party meeting Tuesday afternoon, "I call on all our friends on the Right to hurry up and work to form a government."


He expressed his hope that the new government would be presented on Monday.


Lieberman noted that Yisrael Beiteinu had many achievements in the coalition talks, despite exercising flexibility.


"It's important that we learn the lesson from the previous Knessets. The Right brought down former Prime Minister Yitzhak Samir, and received the Oslo Accords in return. We must put the differences aside and be flexible," he said.


Meanwhile, Labor sources said Tuesday night that Prime Netanyahu "promised to make Labor a generous offer" should party Chairman Ehud Barak reconsider his stance and agree to join Netanyahu's coalition.


No concrete offer was presented to the party at this time, added a Labor source, but behind the scenes negotiations between both sides are ongoing.


First published: 17.03.09, 21:59
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