Former IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. (Res.) Dan Halutz formally joined the Kadima Party on Thursday, as expected. He will compete for a top spot on the party's slate in the next election for Knesset.

"I am entering the world of politics after deep deliberations," Halutz said. "The Kadima party is suited to my political views. I believe that Kadima is the party that will lead the State of Israel in making the right decisions."

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Kadima chair Tzipi Livni welcomed the former IDF chief to the party on Thursday afternoon, and said she was sure he would help the party improve Israel's image.

During their conversation, Livni said, "The State of Israel faces important decisions about its future, and Kadima is the real alternative that will bring Israel to a better future."

She said that Halutz's decision to join the party was "more proof of the growing trend of people identifying with Kadima's values." She said she expected many more new candidates to run.

Halutz has views on the center-left of the political map. He favors expediting diplomatic talks with both the Palestinians and the Syrians.

Halutz ended his military service after the Second Lebanon War, among heavy criticism for his role in the month-long conflict.

In September, Halutz announced that he was resigning as CEO of Kamor Motors Ltd. to take on new challenges.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report

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