(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)

The Chairwoman of Kadima, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, arrived this morning at the President’s Residence to update the President of the State on the progress of coalition negotiations and to request from him an extension for the task of forming a government. Minister Livni asked President Peres for an extension of 14 days.

Minister Livni emphasized to President Peres that it is her intention to complete the formation of a government as quickly as possible, and she said, "We are making efforts to take away from the people of Israel the existing lack of certainty and to establish a stable and enduring government; this is our obligation and the responsibility that was bestowed upon us." The Minister told the President, "I believe that the responsibility that I have taken upon myself obligates me to try to establish a government. At this time economic stability, beyond the additional challenges standing before us, requires a demonstration of national responsibility.”

The Minister added, "Each one of the heads of the parties is obligated to make his decision. I believe that the decisions will be correct and I hope that they will be quick because the prolonging of this process is not good for the people of Israel."

After a long meeting, in which Minister Livni presented before President Peres the proceedings that had been carried out until now, the agreements that were reached, and the projected end of the process of forming the government, the President began to answer her request. The President told the Minister that from his experiences, "Coalition negotiations are a complicated thing which require great effort, but governmental stability and the need to do away with uncertainty require that you receive the opportunity to pursue this process to its fullest."