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Israel's Netanyahu makes first move for new government

Published on Feb 20, 2013 6:17 AM
 
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, head of the centrist Hatenuah party, deliver a joint statement at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem on Feb 19, 2013. Mr Netanyahu took a first step in forming a new government on Tuesday, announcing a coalition deal with former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and naming her to handle efforts to renew stalled diplomacy with the Palestinians.  -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

JERUSALEM (REUTERS) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a first step in forming a new government on Tuesday, announcing a coalition deal with former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and naming her to handle efforts to renew stalled diplomacy with the Palestinians.

Mr Netanyahu's choice of Ms Livni, a moderate voice for a government led by his right-wing Likud party, seemed a positive signal ahead of United States (US) President Barack Obama's visit next month on a push to resume peace talks deadlocked since 2010.

In televised remarks, Mr Netanyahu said the union with Ms Livni, a longtime rival, was intended to provide his emerging government with a "wide and stable government that unites the people".

He said he wanted to face down what he called "tremendous challenges" posed by a nuclearising Iran and the violence of neighbouring Arab revolts.

 
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