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Netanyahu pledges to create broad-based govt after elections


12:38, January 23, 2013

TEL AVIV, Israel, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said early Wednesday morning that he will work to create a broad-based government to meet challenges including the global economic crisis, the Iranian nuclear threat and the conflict with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu made the remarks at the headquarters of his right- wing Likud-Beitenu union in Israel's biggest city, Tel Aviv, shortly after Israel's major television networks announced the results of their exit polls.

The exit polls showed that after Tuesday's elections, the Likud- Beitenu joint list will be the largest party in the 120-member new parliament (Knesset), with 31 seats, followed by the centrist Yesh Atid party with 18-19 seats and the left Labor party with 17 seats. Under Israel's election law, President Shimon Peres will ask Netanyahu, leader of the largest party in the parliament, to create a new government.

"The elections are behind us and the challenges are in front of us, including the Iranian nuclear threat, the global economic crisis and striving for a peace with the Palestinians. We would like to join hands with as many partners as possible to work and solve those challenges," Netanyahu said.

"I'm proud to be your prime minister for the third time. This is a great honor and a great responsibility," he said. In his speech, Netanyahu said he had already begun the task to establish a broad-based government and that he sees many partners in this mission.

"My government will be based on five key principles: powerful safety in front of the challenges ahead, particularly to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons; fiscal responsibility with the global crisis continued; responsible diplomacy in our continuous search for a true peace (with the Palestinians); increasing equality burden; and reducing the cost of living and housing prices in Israel," he stated.

Netanyahu has repeatedly accused Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons and threatened to launch a military strike on its nuclear facilities. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

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