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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:11, October 24, 2006
Israel's right-wing party to join Olmert coalition government
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Avigdor Lieberman, leader of Israel's right-wing and immigrant-dominant party Yisrael Beiteinu, announced Monday that his party will join the current coalition government headed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

"We are joining the government", Lieberman told reporters after meeting with Olmert, adding, "I hope that by tomorrow morning, a document will be put together."

Olmert, on his part, said that he planned to appoint Lieberman as one of his deputy prime ministers to deal with "strategic threats against Israel".

"I assume this issue will be finalized and it will be able to be brought for full approval of the Knesset (parliament)," Olmert said.

Yisrael Beiteinu, or "Israel Our Home", would bring 11 Knesset (parliament) seats into the coalition, making the Olmert government control 78 of 120 parliamentary seats.

Such a majority would ensure enough support in important parliamentary votes, including the 2007 budget. The government would collapse if the budget failed to be passed by March.

Olmert said the inclusion of Lieberman in the government would not result in any policy changes.

However, some feared that renewing peace talks with the Palestinians may be hindered after Lieberman joined in the coalition for his long hawkish positions on the issue.

Lieberman, 48, has long taken a tough line toward the Palestinians as well as Israel's own Arab minority.

Source: Xinhua

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