Israel's Interior Minister Quits Coalition over Summit
A leading partner in Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's coalition resigned on Sunday over the Israeli leader's participation in a US peacemaking summit with the Palestinians next week, reported Reuters.
Interior Minister Natan Sharansky, head of a right-leaning Russian immigrant party, told reporters he had turned in his resignation. By law, it was due to take effect in 48 hours, said the agency.
"I am here today to deliver my letter of resignation. I am resigning from the government," he said outside the prime minister's office.
The departure of Sharansky's four-seat party in the 120-seat parliament, along with the expected resignation of the five-seat National Religious Party by Monday, would leave Barak with a shaky 59-61 minority in parliament.
Meanwhile, foreign minister David Levy told Barak that he will not take part in the three-way summit, reported AFP, quoting Israel radio.
It said Levy conveyed his decision to Barak at a meeting Sunday morning.
However, neither Levy's nor Barak's offices would confirm the radio report.
In the past few weeks Levy has voiced strong criticism of the way the negotiations with the Palestinians have been conducted, and in particular he has opposed the planned summit, said AFP - (Several Sources)
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