After months of increasing tensions, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin on Monday took what would be called on the international circuit positive steps toward peace. The two Likud officials met in the late afternoon at Rivlin's Knesset offices, and party lawmakers emphasized the peaceful - and even friendly - tenor of their encounter. Relations between Rivlin and Netanyahu had steadily declined throughout the three months since Rivlin was voted in as speaker. The situation reached new proportions last month after Rivlin was said by Likud members to have caved in to opposition demands on the series of government sponsored bills known as the "governance laws." The poor relations reached a crisis point after Rivlin blasted Netanyahu in an interview with Ma'ariv just over a week ago. Rivlin later apologized, reiterating that his criticism of his party chairman was on a matter of principle - the status of the legislature in Israeli society - and not personal.