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Israeli president asks Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form next government

Associated Press

JERUSALEM - Israel's president has asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form the next government, and Netanyahu says he wants to advance peace talks with the Palestinians.

Israeli President Shimon Peres formally asked Netanyahu to build a governing coalition, after a majority of newly elected lawmakers recommended Netanyahu lead the country.

Netanyahu now has six weeks to form a coalition government. If he succeeds, he will begin his third term as Israeli premier. Netanyahu says he wants a broad governing coalition, but it will be difficult for him to form a coalition with both secular and religious parties.

Netanyahu says the government's next priorities should be to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon, to deal with weapons stockpiles in the region and to make peace with the Palestinians.

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