Former Israeli opposition chief eyeing comeback, meets president

Last Updated: Tue, Oct 23, 2012 17:10 hrs

Jerusalem, Oct 23 (IANS) Former opposition Kadima party head Tzipi Livni met Israeli President Shimon Peres Tuesday, as media speculation ran rife on her possible return to politics in the upcoming national elections, reported Xinhua.

Peres and Livni, who sustain a close relationship from their days together at the Kadima party a decade ago, met over lunch at the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem.

While the two refused to disclose any details of their noon tete-a-tete, sources told the Ynet news website that the talks revolved around politics and the issues at hand in the upcoming elections, as well as personal matters.

Despite polls showing a possible increase to the left-centre bloc at the next Knesset (parliament) session if Livni joins forces, Livni on Monday dismissed reports of her running on any existing party's list.

Livni is contemplating starting up a new party, according to political scuttlebutt, one which would focus its platform on reviving the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

Talks between the sides came to a halt in 2010 over both settlement construction in the West Bank, and a Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish national homeland.

Livni retired from Kadima in March after losing the chairmanship to party rival Shaul Mofaz in an acrimonious race, which often descended to mutual personal attacks and insults.

She has also reportedly met several other public figures in the past week, including former prime minister Ehud Olmert, as well as specialists and political advisers, in what may be a bid to coalesce a party platform and list.

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