Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) receives a folder from Israeli President Simon Peres© AFP 2013/ JIM HOLLANDER-POOL
TEL AVIV, February 2 (RIA Novosti) - Israeli President Shimon Peres on Saturday tasked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with forming a new government, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.
Netanyahu, who was reelected on January 22, has 28 days to form the government. He may request a two-week extension from the president if necessary.
The coalition negotiations are set to begin on Sunday.
Netanyahu pledged to establish “the widest possible national unity government”.
Netanyahu said the first priority of his new government would be thwarting Iran’s effort to attain nuclear weapons.
Netanyahu, who was recommended as prime minister by 82 of the 120 incoming MPs, also pledged to seek peace, saying “every day that passes” without negotiations with the Palestinians was a day wasted, and urging Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to come back to the peace table, according to The Times of Israel.
Before meeting with Netanyahu, Peres stressed: "I will strive to do this with the proper urgency and without depriving any party of fully voicing its position. I see this as both a great privilege and express obligation in one,” Ynet quoted him as saying.
The parties that recommended Netanyahu continue as prime minister were his own Likud-Beytenu (which won 31 seats in the January 22 elections), Yesh Atid (19 seats) Jewish Home (12 seats), Shas (11), United Torah Judaism (7) and Kadima (2) - for a total of 82 endorsements.
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