Rivlin gives PM, Gantz 48 more hours to seal deal as sides cite ‘major progress’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz appeared to be on the cusp of reaching a coalition deal overnight Monday-Tuesday, as the president approved a last-minute joint request by the two to extend Gantz’s mandate to form a government by 48 hours, with the sides citing “major progress” in talks.

The request to the president was made just minutes before Gantz’s deadline to form a government expired at midnight, as the two leaders held a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Residence. President Reuven Rivlin quickly approved it, after previously rejecting a request by Gantz for a two-week extension when it was not supported by Netanyahu.

In a joint statement after their meeting, Netanyahu and Gantz said there had been “significant progress in talks to form an emergency unity government.” The meeting ended shortly after midnight, with the sides saying they would reconvene in the morning with their negotiating teams in tow.

MORE: https://www.timesofisrael.com/rivlin-gives-pm-gantz-48-more-hours-to-seal-deal-as-sides-cite-major-progress/