Jerusalem, Feb. 28 (ANI): In a bid to form a national unity government in Israel, Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu met Kadima leader Tzipi Livni. The meeting, however, collapsed without tangible results.
Insisting that she would head the opposition in the Israeli Parliament, Livni said Netanyahu failed to make a commitment that the government's platform would include pursuing an Israeli-Palestinian two-state solution.
"I came for a second meeting with the Likud leader to hear his vision and the way he believes is correct. Israel is facing challenges and I told him that Kadima would support the correct moves made by the government," the Jerusalem Post quoted Livni, as saying.
"But to deal with the challenges, I wanted three basic principles that you know of. Two states for two peoples is not an empty slogan. It is the only way Israel can remain Jewish and fight terror. It's a fundamental issue," she told reporters after her meeting in Tel Aviv.
Livni said that Netanyahu failed to build a consensus on plans for a two-state solution, changes to the electoral system and other Interior Ministry reforms.
"This meeting has ended without agreements on issues that I see as essential. There could be a government that advances these issues. At the moment, based on the discussions I held in the adjacent room, that government won't be Netanyahu's," she said.
However, Netanyahu blamed Livni for not having any "willingness for unity", despite her pre-and post-election promises.
"I didn't find that Livni had the willingness for unity. Unity requires compromise and I was prepared to go in that direction. I also offered an equal number of ministries, including two out of the top three, I said I intended to move peace negotiations forward, and that we would act to advance civil unions and to introduce electoral reforms," he said.
"If there's a will, there's a way; and if there is a will there is unity. In my opinion, the gaps can be bridged, but I was met with total rejection and a refusal to even agree to set up dialogue teams in order to strike a partnership," he added.
Likud chief negotiator MK Gideon Sa'ar said the Kadima head had "stubbornly held onto her refusal" to join such a coalition, and claimed that her motives were personal.
"She didn't even agree to setting up special negotiating teams. For unity, compromise is required, but Livni's motives to sabotage unity are personal," he said. (ANI)