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Feb 27,2009
Kadima rejects unity government offer
by UPI

TEL AVIV, Israel - Israeli Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu says the leader of the centrist Kadima Party still refuses to join him in a broad coalition government.

Netanyahu said he offered Tzipi Livni full partnership in the government and two of the three top ministerial posts during a two-hour meeting Friday, Haaretz reports.

"I was prepared to go a very long way toward achieving unity," Netanyahu told reporters following the session.

Livni said she turned down the offer because Netanyahu wouldn't commit to a two-state solution, Ynetnews reports.

"Two states (one for the Israelis and one for the Palestinians) is not an empty slogan," said Livni. "Unity is not just sitting in government together. It also means sharing a way."

The meeting between Netanyahu and Livni was billed as a last-ditch attempt to form a national unity government, The Jerusalem Post reports.

Netanyahu said a unity government is particularly vital now due to the escalating Iranian threat and rising Israeli unemployment.

© 2009 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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