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Some Progress on Premiership Rotation

Significant progress was reported Thursday by Premier Shimon Peres and Deputy Premier Yitzhak Shamir in their continuing efforts to resolve differences that have delayed implementation of the Labor-Likud rotation-of-power agreement.

Political sources said a coalition delegation representing both parties would call on President Chaim Herzog late Thursday to recommend that Shamir be formally nominated as Prime Minister. In that case, Shamir would probably present his new unity coalition government to the Knesset for approval on Sunday or Monday.

According to the sources, Peres and Shamir are near agreement on the two main obstacles–the future status of Likud Liberal Yitzhak Modai, who was forced to resign as Finance Minister last July, and Labor’s appointment of Cabinet Secretary Yossi Beilin to be Israel’s next Ambassador to the U.S.It is opposed by Likud.

The sources said Modai will probably be included in the new Cabinet as a Minister-Without-Portfolio. The naming of an envoy to Washington will be postponed, but Shamir has promised not to veto any of Peres’ candidates.

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