Israel's Netanyahu makes first move for new government
Published on Feb 20, 2013 6:17 AM
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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