Livni, Barak meet to talk policy

Meeting comes at a time of rising tensions within the gov't coalition.

Livni 311 AP (photo credit: AP)
Livni 311 AP
(photo credit: AP)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak and head of the opposition and Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni met at the Defense Ministry on Sunday to discuss security and policy issues.
Livni's office sought to discourage speculation that discussion with Barak was a forerunner to Kadima's joining the government. "The conditions have not changed. Widening the government [coalition] is not in our cards," Livni said in a statement.
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The meeting comes at a time of rumors surrounding the possibility of Kadima joining the government coalition as relations between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Israel Beiteinu have reached a new low.
Netanyahu ties with Israel Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman  have frayed after the government's new budget cut funding to ministry portfolios held by Israel Beiteinu politicians and the prime minister's negative reaction to the conversion bill proposed by Israel Beiteinu MK David Rotem.  Netanyahu announced on Sunday that he opposed the conversion bill.
Lieberman and Netanyahu plan to meet on Monday to attempt to mend relations, while Livni and Barak announced that they expect to carry on their policy meeting on a regular basis into the future.