July 19, 2010
Lieberman: Spats won’t send party packing from coalition
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said his Yisrael Beiteinu party will not leave the government, despite several disagreements.
During a news conference Monday, Lieberman criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not having more consideration for his largest coalition partner. With 15 seats, Yisrael Beiteinu is the second largest party in Netanyahu’s coalition.
Netanyahu and Lieberman were scheduled to meet later Monday to hash out their disagreements in private.
The downward spiral in relations between the two leaders began with Netanyahu’s decision to send Minister of Trade, Industry and Labor Benjamin Ben-Eliezer to Turkey for a meeting with its foreign minister, and continued in recent days with the state budget, the appointment of an interim United Nations envoy and a prospective conversion measure proposed by Lieberman’s party to fulfill an election promise to its supporters.
“We won’t quit the government, but we also have no intention of surrendering,” Lieberman told reporters.
“The party that most supports the government should not be the last considered in regards to the budget,” he said, referring to cuts in the departments headed by Yisrael Beiteinu ministers.