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Israel's President Begins Talks on New Government


Israeli President Moshe Katsav has begun talks with political parties on forming a new coalition government.

Mr. Katsav is to meet Sunday with senior members of the Kadima Party, which won 29 seats in the 120-member parliament in legislative elections Wednesday. He also is expected to meet with leaders from the Labor Party, which came in second in the poll.

Political observers say Kadima will recommend that its leader, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, be formally appointed prime minister and charged with forming a cabinet.

Kadima has already begun informal talks with potential coalition partners. Mr. Olmert has said coalition partners must accept his plan for unilateral withdrawals from the West Bank.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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