Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted on Wednesday that he will not allow former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to have any foreign affairs role in a prospective government under his leadership. Netanyahu was responding to what he called "rumours" that Livni would get a senior role in exchange for joining his coalition after the forthcoming general election.
"She will not get the foreign affairs portfolio or even be allowed anywhere in the diplomatic realm or be involved in talks with the Palestinians," Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted him as telling Likud Party ministers on Wednesday.
Livni, who formed a new party called Hatuna (The Movement) recently, criticised Netanyahu's remarks. "Dealing with ministerial assignments a month before an election is pathetic," she told Yedioth Ahronoth. "He is trying to spread despair among those who oppose his policies." She accused Netanyahu of evading issues of substance and pretending that he has already won the election.
Netanyahu would prefer, it is claimed, to give the foreign affairs portfolio back to Yisrael Beiteinu's Avigdor Lieberman once he has resolved the legal issues which pushed him to resign as Foreign Minister recently.