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New Coalition Agreement Signed

June 3, 2016
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PM Netanyahu and MK Avigdor Liberman at the signing of the coalition agreements

PM Netanyahu and MK Avigdor Liberman at the signing of the coalition agreements

Friday, 03 June 2016 | Editor’s Note: With the addition of the Yisrael Beitenu (Israel Our Home)party, PM Netanyahu’s coalition government now has gone from 61 to 66 seats in the 120-member Knesset. Avigdor Liberman, head of Yisrael Beitenu, was appointed to the position of defense minister. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, this evening (Monday, 30 May 2016), at the Knesset, made the following statements

Prime Minister Netanyahu: “I take this opportunity to make clear that I remain committed to making peace with the Palestinians and with all our neighbors. The Arab peace initiative includes positive elements that can help revive constructive negotiations with the Palestinians. We are willing to negotiate with the Arab states revisions to that initiative so that it reflects the dramatic changes in the region since 2002, but maintains the agreed goal of two states for two peoples. To this end, we welcome the recent speech by Egyptian President el-Sisi and his offer to help advance peace and security in the region.”

Defense Minister Liberman: “Mr. Prime Minister, again I thank you for the decision to appoint me defense minister and I thank the Government of the State of Israel and the Knesset for supporting that decision.

“I listened to everything you said and I absolutely agree with every word, including two states for two peoples. There was a lot of speculation about what the policy of the government would be. I want to remind people that for many years Yisrael Beytenu decided, and I spoke more than once about recognizing, that same solution of two states for two peoples. I also believe that I was very supportive of the Bar Ilan speech.

“I think that President al-Sisi’s speech was very important and has created a genuine opportunity. We must try to pick up the gauntlet. I absolutely agree that the Arab [Peace] Initiative also has some very, very positive elements that enable a serious dialogue with all our neighbors in the region.”

Posted on June 3, 2016

Source: (Ministry of Foreign Affairs published this article on 30 May 2016. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: GPO/Amos Ben Gershom