Lieberman, Steinitz talk budget dispute

Meeting comes after FM blasts Finance Ministry for slighting party.

Yuval Steinitz 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file[)
Yuval Steinitz 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file[)
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz late Tuesday night in an effort to end their disagreement over the budget allocations for Israel Beiteinu’s ministries.
The meeting came a day after Lieberman blasted the Finance Ministry at a Knesset press conference, accusing its top officials of conspiring against his party as part of a political maneuver.
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Both sides expressed optimism that a compromise could be worked out between Lieberman’s representatives and Finance Ministry officials that would persuade Lieberman to allow his party’s ministers to vote for the budget in the Knesset after they opposed it in the cabinet.
It was the second night in a row that Lieberman had a late-night meeting intended to resolve a dispute. He convened with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday night, for a meeting described by both sides as positive.
Spokesmen for Netanyahu and Lieberman declined to reveal contents of the conversation, which was one-onone at the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem.
But it has come out that Netanyahu and Lieberman agreed to form a committee to work out their differences over Israel Beiteinu MK David Rotem’s controversial conversion bill, which will not come to a vote on Wednesday, the last Knesset session before a lengthy recess that ends in October.
They also reportedly decided that Lieberman would play a larger role in the peace process and participate in deliberations over how to advance the process with Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Spokesmen for Netanyahu and Lieberman declined to confirm the report.