eli yishai 298 88 aj.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
No agreements will be finalized at the upcoming Middle East conference in Annapolis, Industry, Trade and Labor Minister and Shas Leader Eli Yishai said Saturday.
"The prime minister is interested in attending the summit, but there will not be binding agreements reached there," Yishai said in an interview with Channel 2's Meet the Press.
Yishai dismissed speculation that his party might leave the coalition due to Annapolis.
"The prime minister knows our position regarding the summit," said Yishai. He added that if the situation changed and there was something he "could not live with," he would consider leaving the government.
"We aren't scared of being in the opposition. We were once in the opposition and grew strong there. We are in the coalition to exert our influence. The moment we are no longer influential, we will leave the coalition," said Yishai.
The minister brought up his recent meetings with Israel Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman, saying they were of the "same mind" about many issues.
Shas officials said that while Lieberman was pressing Yishai to agree to both their parties leaving the government, depriving Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of a Knesset majority, Shas was not ready for elections.
"There is a feeling that it is too early to put the country through elections again," said one Shas official. "We are waiting to see how everyone responds to whatever happens in Annapolis."
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