Israel: Netanyahu, Lieberman coalition talks fail

JERUSALEM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and head of right-wing Yisrael Beytenu party Avigdor Lieberman on Thursday failed to reach a consensus on forming a coalition government on Thursday, according to an Israeli official.

The talks between the two ended after barely one hour and at the end of the meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s spokesman said that no breakthrough was achieved during the discussions.

Lieberman, for his part, said in light of the security and economic challenges, the right path is to find common ground between his Yisrael Beytenu, Netanyahu’s Likud party, and Blue and White coalition.

“Only then we’ll discuss distributing ministries and the Prime Minister’s rotation,” Lieberman said.

As previous talks between Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz — leader of Blue and White coalition — had failed, another round of elections looks increasingly likely in Israel.

According to election results, the Blue and White coalition won 33 seats in the Knesset, followed by Netanyahu’s Likud party with 32 seats.

The parliamentary election held on Sept. 17 was the second this year after Netanyahu failed to form a government after the April polls.
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