• Short Summary

    Mrs. Golda Meir, the Israeli Premier, is continuing her efforts to form a Government and?

  • Description

    GV Premier's residence is Tel Aviv

    SV People entering gate of residence

    SV President Katzir enters press room at his official residence as cameramen film (2 shots)

    SV President Katzir speaks in Hebrew, saying Mrs. Meir will continue to try to form a Government (next to interpreter) (2 shots)

    SV President Katzir leaves room

    SCU EXTERIOR of Presidential residence Mr. Begin interviewed by newsmen

    NEWSMAN: "If Mrs. Meir should undertake to form a Cabinet of National Unity, would the Likud be ready to participate in such a Government?"

    BEGIN: "Well, this is a question of negotiation between the parties. Of course everybody who will be in the Cabinet will have his role to play. It may be an important role, of course. Anyhow, a minority Government, anyone can form."

    NEWSMAN: "Would you invite Mr. Dayan to join a Government formed by the Likud Party?"

    BEGIN: "Mr. Dayan is a representative of the Labour Party...we don't ask anyone to leave his party. But, if the task should be given to one of the members of the Likud Party, of course we shall turn to all the parties -- except the Communists -- and invite them all to come together to come into a Cabinet of National Unity. The President is waiting for us. I must respect the President. Thank you ladies and gentlemen".

    Initials AE/3.46 AE/4.02

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Mrs. Golda Meir, the Israeli Premier, is continuing her efforts to form a Government and so to stave off a deep political crisis threatening Israel.

    On Monday (4 March) she visited President Ephraim Katzir to report on the situation. After the meeting the President told newsmen that he was pleased Mrs. Meir would continue her efforts right up to the deadline she had been set -- midnight on Wednesday (6 March).

    President Katzir's announcement, in Hebrew, in included in this film.

    Earlier in the day, Mrs. Meir had stunned her Labour Party leaders by saying she would abandon the attempt to pull together a Cabinet. After long meetings with them she reversed her decision.

    Mrs. Meir's Labour grouping, comprising several factions, emerged from the 31 December elections with only 51 of the 120-seats in the Knesset (Parliament) -- six fewer than it held before.

    But it remained by far the biggest party, and President Katzier asked her to try to form another Labour-led coalition, like those that have governed Israel ever since it gained independence in 1948.

    Mrs. Meir then decided to form a minority Government including the three affiliated Arab members and the independent Liberals (with four seats), relying on support of other small parties in the House.

    She received another setback when Defence Minister Moshe Dayan, who heads the Labour Party's eight-member faction -- originally founded by the late David Ban Gurion -- announced that he would not serve in a minority Government.

    So, in this uncertain situation, the opposition right-wing Likud Party begins to flex its political muscles. Shortly before the President's announcement, Likud's, Mr. Menahem Begin, spoke to newsmen.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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