Skip to main content

Centrist party leader joins new Israeli coalition

By Mike Schwartz and Joe Sterling, CNN
updated 7:34 PM EST, Tue February 19, 2013
Tzipi Livni and Benjamin Netanyahu are forging a new political partnership in Israel.
Tzipi Livni and Benjamin Netanyahu are forging a new political partnership in Israel.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tzipi Livni is a former justice minister
  • Her centrist party, Hatnua, is the first to join the future coalition
  • Livni will play a role in welcoming U.S. President Barack Obama to Israel

Jerusalem (CNN) -- A former foreign minister joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's future governing coalition and has been tapped to lead peace talks with the Palestinians.

Tzipi Livni and her centrist Hatnua party will be part of a government headed by Likud-Beitenu, the political movement headed by the prime minister. Livni, a former opposition leader, foreign minister and justice minister, will again serve in the justice minister post.

Hatnua, which means "movement," is the first party to join a Netanyahu's coalition.

There has been a lot of political jockeying among a range of movements since last month's national elections. Among those are centrists, rightists, and ultra-Orthodox groups.

Netanyahu's mixed victory in Israel
'Intl. community impotent on Syria'

Netanyahu, who was chosen to pick a government after his party won the most votes in the election, wants to build a broad coalition -- one that easily surpasses the 60-seat majority in the 120-member Knesset, Israel's parliament.

"The threats coming from Iran, Syria and the Hezbollah have not stopped for a moment and in order to give an answer to these threats we need to form a wide and stable government," Netanyahu said.

Livni, who campaigned on the importance of the peace process, thanked Netanyahu.

"The obligation to the diplomatic process and the confidence that has been bestowed on us led to this partnership, a partnership that came about after we had talks and I received the appropriate powers to be the negotiator of the State of Israel to get to the end of the conflict with the Palestinians on the basis of the two-state solution," she said.

Pundits are saying that Livni will play an important role in welcoming U.S. President Barack Obama in his upcoming visit to the region.

CNN's Mike Schwartz reported from Jerusalem. CNN's Joe Sterling reported from Atlanta

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 2:18 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
While aspects of the fighting in Gaza resemble earlier clashes, this time feels different, writes military analyst Rick Francona.
updated 11:54 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
If India and the U.S. were Facebook friends, the relationship between them would undoubtedly be "complicated." Can the U.S. Secretary of State's visit change that?
updated 10:38 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
The death of an American from Ebola fuels fears of the further global spread of the virus.
updated 2:35 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
Take a look inside Airbus' new -- and surprisingly quiet -- A350XWB.
updated 7:08 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Flowers, a teddy bear and the smells of jet fuel and death haunt the MH17 crash site.
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
Nearly two weeks after MH17 was blown out of the sky, Dutch investigators have yet to lay eyes on the wreckage. How useful will it be now?
updated 11:10 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
The U.S. and EU are imposing new sanctions on Moscow -- but will they have any effect?
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
updated 8:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
updated 9:03 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT