Livni to replace resigning Shalom

Becomes first woman to hold foreign minister post since Golda Meir.

livni sits 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
livni sits 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni will assume her duties as foreign minister on Sunday, following the resignation of the Likud ministers. Livni will be the first woman in Israel to hold the post since Golda Meir. Livni will hold a meeting with outgoing Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom at the beginning of the week. Shalom was due to submit his letter of resignation to Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday, and his resignation will take effect on Monday. Shalom will not attend the cabinet meeting on Sunday. Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who will hold 15 portfolios when the resignations take effect, is set to appoint six Kadima ministers next week to fill the vacancies. Olmert said he would remain finance minister. Likud ministers Shalom, Limor Livnat, Yisrael Katz and Dan Naveh reluctantly surrendered to an order from Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday and agreed to resign from the cabinet. Livnat, Katz and Naveh submitted their resignation letters after Netanyahu threatened to work against them in Thursday's Likud central committee vote for the Likud's Knesset slate. The minister who held out the longest was Shalom, who did not have to compete in Thursday's race, because the second slot on the Likud list has been reserved for him. Netanyahu and Shalom reconciled in a 90-minuted meeting at the Likud's Tel Aviv headquarters, deciding that Shalom would resign on Friday and hold a joint press conference with Netanyahu on Sunday to accuse Olmert of dividing Jerusalem.