Secret Likud, Blue and White meeting raises unity hopes

Negotiations between Likud and Blue and White on a national-unity government began in earnest on Monday with a secret meeting that raised optimism an agreement between the two sides could be reached to end the political stalemate.

The meeting took place in the morning before Blue and White leader Benny Gantz officially received the mandate to form a government from President Reuven Rivlin at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. That the meeting was not publicized and there were no briefings afterward was seen as a sign of progress.

All both sides would say was that the gaps were not wide, an apparent reference to negotiations over portfolios and the length of the rotation in the Prime Minister’s Office between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuand Gantz.

Shas leader Arye Deri, who acts as a political adviser to Netanyahu, met with Blue and White MK Gabi Ashkenazi in another channel that could bear fruit.

MORE: https://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Gantz-arrives-at-Presidents-House-to-receive-mandate-to-form-govt-621147

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