"I'm proud to be your prime minister. I thank you for giving me a chance, for the third time, to lead the State of Israel. It is a great privilege and a great responsibility," he said.
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"This is an opportunity to effect the kind of change the Israeli people are waiting for, one that will serve the people as a whole.
Netanyahu and Lieberman (Photo: Moti komchi)
"I hope to lead this change," he continued, "and for that we need to form the broadest government possible. And I have started doing that tonight.
"The new government will be based on five principles: The first is security. We will meet the security threats Israel faces, first and foremost is stopping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
"The second principle is fiscal responsibility vis-a-vis the global recession. The third is political responsibility – we will strive to achieve true peace. The fourth is ensuring the equal distribution of burden in society; and the fifth is cutting the cost of living and housing prices."
The new government, he said, "Has many tasks ahead of it. I see many partners and together we will do it."
Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman spoke next: "I'm glad we achieved both of our primary goals – the national camp will continue to lead Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu will continue to serve as prime minister.
"The five principles detailed by the PM will enable us not only to form a solid coalition for the next four years but to bring the national camp closer together. Even now I have no doubt that what we did was a brave thing and the right thing to do," he said, referring to the two parties' decision to run in a joint ticket.
"The future will prove that," he concluded.
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