Israel's right-wing opposition leader Ariel Sharon said on Wednesday he would still consider joining an emergency government with Prime Minister Ehud Barak ahead of new elections.
"Despite the opposition victory and the announcement of new elections, Tuesday was a sad day. The nation needs to unite because division only encourages our enemies," Sharon told Israeli army radio.
He said leaders of Israel's opposition parties would meet on Wednesday. "If there is an invitation from the prime minister, we will discuss it with him," he added.
In a shock announcement on Tuesday, Barak told parliament he was ready for new elections after failing repeatedly to woo Sharon into an emergency government to confront two months of deadly Israeli-Palestinian violence that has rocked peacemaking to its core.
Sharon said he was treating positively a proposal by Eli Yishai, leader of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Shas party, to form an emergency government until the elections "to enable the government to confront the serious security issues."
But he later told reporters in Jerusalem that "there is no alternative to early elections." – JERUSALEM (AFP)
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