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Israel For 'Total And Real' Peace: Netanyahu

Israel seeks a "total and real peace" with the Arabs, Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu said on the eve of the presentation of his cabinet for parliamentary approval, reports say.

In an address to the parliament Monday, he said Tel-Aviv wanted a "total and real peace with a view to reaching reconciliation between the Arab and Jewish peoples."

"Each time that Israel has found itself opposite an Arab leader who sincerely wishes peace, we have responded with action," Israel's next premier said.

Earlier, he allotted the final cabinet portfolios to members of his right-wing Likud party in what promises to be one of the largest cabinets in Israeli history, amid international concern over the coalition's stand on the troubled Middle East peace talks.

Netanyahu will head a 69-member coalition with nearly 30 ministers in the 120-member parliament and have ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman, branded by critics as a "racist" for his anti-Arab diatribes, as foreign minister.

The coalition comprises Netanyahu's right-wing Likud with 27 seats, Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu with 15 seats, and center-left Labor with 13 seats, ultra-Orthodox Shas with 11 seats and the far-right Jewish Home settler party with three seats.

by RTT Staff Writer

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