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 8:25 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
Action needs to be taken immediately before affected states potentially collapse, says campaigner Bob Geldof.
updated 12:29 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
updated 6:33 AM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
updated 7:18 PM EDT, Wed October 15, 2014
Australian PM Tony Abbott vows to "shirt-front" Russia's Putin over the MH17 disaster.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Wed October 15, 2014
Serbia and Albania try to play but the major game is called off after a drone flying a political flag enters the stadium.
updated 7:36 AM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
George Clooney's new wife, is now Amal Clooney, raising the issue of married names.
updated 1:57 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
The mysterious unmanned X-37B space plane returns to Earth after more than two years in space. But the U.S. Air force isn't saying much.
updated 12:55 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
Public health experts are asking whether the CDC is getting the wrong message out.
updated 11:41 AM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
It's no longer necessary to launch your startup in Silicon Valley -- thanks to the internet, you can do it anywhere.
updated 5:00 AM EDT, Wed October 8, 2014
From a "democracy wall" to a towering "Umbrella man" statue, see the best art from the massive protests in Hong Kong.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT