JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said his Israel Beiteinu party will not leave the government, despite several disagreements.
During a news conference Monday, Lieberman did criticize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not having more consideration for his largest coalition partner. Israel Beiteinu has 15 seats in the current government, the second largest party in Netanyahu’s coalition.
Netanyahu and Lieberman were scheduled to meet later Monday to hash out their disagreements in private.
The downward spiral in relations between the two leaders began with Netanyahu’s decision to send Minister of Trade, Industry and Labor Benjamin Ben-Eliezer to Turkey for a meeting with its foreign minister, and continued in recent days with the state budget, the appointment of an interim United Nations envoy and a prospective conversion measure proposed by Lieberman’s party to fulfill an election promise to its supporters.
"We won’t quit the government, but we also have no intention of surrendering," Lieberman told reporters.
"The party that most supports the government should not be the last considered in regards to the budget," he said, referring to cuts in the departments headed by Israel Beiteinu ministers.