Netanyahu-Liberman unity crisis parley ends with no breakthrough

Yisrael Beytenu Chair arrives at PM's office to meet Netanyahu and present proposal to resolve political crisis.

Mordechai Sones,

Liberman and Netanyahu
Liberman and Netanyahu
Miriam Alster, Flash 90

The meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Yisrael Beytenu Chairman Avigdor Liberman held this morning in the Prime Minister's Office has ended.

At the end of the meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu's Spokesman said: "Prime Minister Netanyahu met with MK Avigdor Liberman this morning as part of his efforts to establish a broad national unity government."

However, it was stated that "no breakthrough was achieved at the meeting" and that "Prime Minister Netanyahu will update the heads of the National Camp Bloc at their meeting."

At today's meeting, Liberman stated that in light of the security and economic challenges, a unity government is a temporary arrangement and repeat elections will not significantly change the political map. The correct way according to Liberman is to formulate common ground between Yisrael Beytenu, the Likud, and Blue and White. "We'll discuss distributing ministries and the Prime Minister's rotation."

Liberman met with Netanyahu this morning following a conversation between him and the Prime Minister yesterday.

This was the first meeting between the two after months of disconnect, since the dissolution of the 21st Knesset and decision to go to elections.

The meeting took place following the announcement issued by Yisrael Beytenu yesterday at noon that if by Yom Kippur there is no breakthrough, Yisrael Beytenu will submit its own proposal to both factions.

"In any case after Yom Kippur, we will go into government formation in high gear," Liberman promised, adding that he would take advantage of the 22nd Knesset's inaugural day for informal talks with Blue and White leaders and the Likud.

Following the announcement, Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke with Liberman and arranged to meet with him today, with the aim of understanding the seriousness of Yisrael Beytenu's proposal now, rather than waiting until after Yom Kippur. "There is no point in wasting the State's time. We'll meet, see if it's serious or not, and accordingly we'll make a decision," Netanyahu told Liberman.

Arutz Sheva has learned that the Rightist faction leaders asked their Knesset Members not to attack Liberman this morning in media interviews.

Knesset members were asked not to "awaken the bear", at least until after the meeting between Liberman and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

The Rightist bloc hoped that Liberman would agree at the meeting to soften his position regarding joining the Rightist bloc to a future government to facilitate formation of a government.