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Netanyahu gets 14 more days to form new Israeli govt

Israeli President Shimon Peres on Saturday gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an additional 14 days to try to form a new government after he was unable to complete the task during an initial 28-day period. Talks with potential partners have been deadlocked since elections on Jan. 22 and if he is unable to form a government by March 16 a new poll could be called - a delay that also puts into question a planned visit by U.S. President Barack Obama. Netanyahu's Likud-Beitenu won 31 of the Knesset's 120 seats - an eroded lead that forced him to cast a wide net for partners while juggling their disparate demands. During the 28-day period, Netanyahu managed to forge a pact only with the party of former foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, whose six-member faction "The Movement" has given him 37 seats, way short of the minimum 61 needed to confirm a new coalition. In a brief statement following his meeting with Peres on Saturday night, Netanyahu hinted that at least one potential coalition partner refused to sit alongside others.

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