'We need expanded coalition to pursue peace talks'

Despite deadlock, PM optimistic about coalition talks with Yisrael Beytenu.

Shlomo Pitrikovsky ,

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Issac Harari/Flash 90

Speaking at the Likud’s weekly meeting on Monday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed the party’s newest MK, Temple Mount activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick. Netanyahu also congratulated MKs David Biton and Yoav Kish on their new respective positions as Coalition Chairman and Chairman of the House Committee respectively.

“To those bearing the burden [of governance], you have my congratulations and condolences,” said Netanyahu light-heartedly. “We are a faction that needs to work together, and together we’ll work on behalf of the state. There are tremendous challenges ahead of us and not a small [amount] of opportunity.”

Netanyahu also mentioned the ongoing coalition negotiations with Yisrael Beytenu.

“We will work to expand the government in order to enhance our security and [strengthen] the economy. We have a gas deal outline that will allow us to produce gas for Israel’s citizens; also regarding peace, we want to push forward the peace process with security. These aren’t just empty words. In order to promote all of these things we need the widest coalition possible.”

Despite the apparent deadlock in negotiations with Yisrael Beytenu over party chief Avigdor Liberman’s demands for pension reform, the Prime Minister was optimistic that an agreement would soon be reached.

“There are negotiations, and negotiations always have ups and downs. When you have to do the things that will allow us to lead the State of Israel, it always requires effort and there are always crises, there are always political fireworks, and it always looks like everything is about to collapse.”



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