Israel's president starts consultations on prime minister nomination

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara addresses supporters as the results in Israel's national elections are announced at party headquarters in Tel Aviv

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a proclamation signed by US President Donald Trump recognising Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, in Jerusalem April 14, 2019.

In office for the past decade, Netanyahu won a fifth term despite an announcement by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit's in February that he intends to charge the prime minister in three corruption cases.

Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing. He will announce his candidate on Wednesday.

Merkel's office said she emphasized in a phone conversation the continued relevance of a two-state solution, which she said should be the goal of global efforts, after Netanyahu vowed in the final days of his reelection campaign last week not to allow the establishment of a Palestinian state, which he said would threaten Israel's existence.

"Any room I had for manoeuvre has effectively been removed at this moment", the president said. Likud will form a coalition with right-wing to far-right political parties.

For the first time, Rivlin's consultations with the parties were being broadcast live as part of what he described as a display of transparency in what has historically been a closed-door process in Israel.

Monday's consultations include the members of such parties as the Likud, the Blue and White, Shas, the United Torah Judaism and the Hadash.

The Israeli leader, whose supporters hail his tough security policies and worldwide outreach, is set to become the country's longest-serving prime minister in July.

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