Likud and Israel Beiteinu sign deal

Lieberman to become foreign minister; party gets 4 other portfolios; civil union to be decided by June.

Lieberman calm down 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Lieberman calm down 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Likud signed its first coalition deal Sunday, with Avigdor Lieberman's Israel Beiteinu. According to the deal, party chairman Lieberman is to be appointed foreign minister, MK Stas Meseznikov is to become tourism minister, MK Uzi Landau will be national infrastructures minister, MK Sofa Landver will be appointed absorption minister and MK Yitzhak Aharonovitch public security minister. While the distribution of portfolios has been set, the two sides noted in their agreement that should a national unity government be formed with Kadima, it may undergo changes. As part of the deal, Israel Beiteinu was also promised a choice of deputy foreign minister, chairmanship of the Knesset's Constitution Committee and a representative in the Judicial Appointments Committee. Regarding civil unions - one of the main issues on Israel Beiteinu's platform - the sides agreed that legislation on civil marriages between Israeli non-Jews would be resolved within two months. A committee would then be formed to find a solution for other couples within 15 months. "We have agreed on all the issues, principles and positions in the Knesset and government," Likud negotiator MK Gideon Sa'ar said after the signing of the agreement. Meseznikov, who headed Israel Beiteinu's negotiating team, said: "This is a good result…the coalition deal reflects the will of the voters and I'm sure the coalition will be strong and stable."