JERUSALEM/ CAIRO, EGYPT
Two ministers in Israel's right-wing coalition government have emerged as the strongest contenders to take over from the Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, who announced on August 30 that he would definitely resign.
JERUSALEM/ CAIRO, EGYPT
1. SV PULL BACK TO GV Begin into car. 0.08
2. GV Israeli ministers coming out of meeting. 0.15
3. GV Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir into car and driven away. 0.27
4. GV Deputy Prime Minister Levy, followed by Sharon, leaves building. 0.37
5. SV PULL BACK TO GV Sharon prepares to get in car. 0.47
6. SCU Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Boutros Ghali speaking. (English SOT) (2 SHOTS) 1.49
TRANSCRIPT: GHALI: (SEQ 6) "The man who signed the peace treaty with Egypt, this was a success. But he's the man who failed to find a solution to the Palestinian problem and this is a failure. But I will say that we are following with great attention what is happening in Israel now and for us what is important is to have a strong administration in Israel. Because with a strong administration we can have a dialogue and we can continue to maintain the momentum in favour of the peace process. On the contrary if you have dissention inside that administration then that administration will not have the time, the energy or the will to solve the Middle East crisis or to participate in the peace solution of the Middle East crisis. By the Middle East crisis I am thinking first of all the Palestinian problem and then the Lebanese problem."
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Background: JERUSALEM/ CAIRO, EGYPT
Two ministers in Israel's right-wing coalition government have emerged as the strongest contenders to take over from the Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, who announced on August 30 that he would definitely resign. The day after his statement, Mr. Begin appeared more relaxed then he has been recently. The tension has now shifted to the ministers in Begin's Herut Party who began intensive lobbying within hours of the announcement. By August 31 the Herut could still not agree on whether Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir or Deputy Prime Minister David Levy should be nominated. The frontrunner is Mr. Shamir, who has the support of the majority of his colleagues. He is seen as the man most capable of putting together a new coalition. But David Levy has said that he has the support of the support of the rank-and-file and has refused to withdraw from the contest. It's likely that former Defence Minister Ariel Sharon will make a comeback, but not in the frontline. Whoever Herut nominates must then be accepted by the six other coalition partners. Mr. Begin has said he will stay out of the leadership battle but has warned that if the Herut takes too long, it will give the Labour opposition time to organise into a stronger force. In Egypt, Foreign Minister Boutros Ghali described Mr. Begin on August 29 as the man who signed the peace treaty with Egypt, but the man who failed to solve the Palestinian problem. He said Egypt's main concern now was that the new administration would be strong so that the peace process could continue to gain momentum.
Source: REUTERS JERUSALEM/NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMPANY INCORPORATED