Netanyahu: "The next government I form will be committed to peace. I call on Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] to return immediately to the table. Every day that passes is wasted."
Peres formally tasks Netanyahu with forming Israel's next government
President Shimon Peres formally tasked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with forming the next government on Saturday evening.
This officially commences the start of coalition negotiations, giving Netanyahu 28 days to form a coalition, although he is entitled to request an extension of 14 additional days.
At the ceremony, Peres announced that the party leaders have stressed that it is essential for the next government to tackle the budget deficit, social justice, universal military conscription and renewed negotiations with the Palestinians. Peres said "the state needs a new government as quickly as possible."
Netanyahu said he is very excited, expressing that it is both a great privilege and a big responsibility, and noted that his previous government was one of the most stable Israel has ever had.
Providing a list of tasks he plans to implement as prime minister of the next Knesset - among them military conscription of the ultra-Orthodox and the reduction of the cost of living - Netanyahu first noted the key aim of preventing a nuclear Iran.
Netanyahu also stressed the importance of forming a broad coalition, which will serve the best interests of the country. "The next government I form will be committed to peace. I call on Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] to return immediately to the table. Every day that passes is wasted."
The Likud's negotiating team has already invited Naftali Bennet and his Habayit Hayehudi negotiating team for talks Sunday, and Kadima has been invited for talks the following day.
Out of 120 Knesset members, 82 recommended to President Peres that
Netanyahu lead the next government. These included the members of
Likud-Beiteinu, Yesh Atid, Habayit Hayehudi, Shas, United Torah Judaism