Eshkol Resumes Inter-party Talks on Formation of New Government

Indecisive maneuverings in Israel’s deadlock over formation of a new government were resumed today after a Yom Kippur recess.

Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s Mapai Party met first with the ultra-Orthodox Poale Agudah party and then with the “Club of Four” parties–the Liberals, Mapam, National Religious Party and Achdut Avoda. Earlier in the week, Mapai reported it had formed a Parliamentary bloc with Poale Agudah and four pro-Mapai Arab members of the Knesset, controlling 48 Knesset seats as against the 46 seats held by the “Club of Four.”

Finance Minister Levi Eshkol, who is negotiating under a mandate from President Ben-Zvi to try to form a new Government, took time out from the negotiations to meet with Dr. Nahum Goldmann, who campaigned for the Liberal party before the August 15 elections. While Dr. Goldmann said merely that the discussion was cordial, it was reported that Eshkol might have asked Dr. Goldmann to seek to induce the Liberal Party leaders to soften their attitude in regard to terms for joining a new coalition, The Finance Minister then returned to negotiations with representatives of the Club of Four.

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