Netanyahu to Ask President for Two-week Extension to Form Next Government

President Reuven Rivlin is expected to approve the request, meaning Netanyahu must complete the task by May 28

File photo: President Reuven Rivlin (R) gestures towards Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the former's residence in Jerusalem, April 17, 2019.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will ask President Reuven Rivlin an extension to form the next government, the Likud party announced on Saturday.

"As was customary in previous years, and due to the tight schedule that included the intermediate days of Passover, Memorial Day, Independence Day and recent security events, the prime minister intends to ask President Rivlin an extension to form the next government," Likud said in a statement.

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Once Rivlin tasked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with forming the next government after a majority of 65 lawmakers recommended the premier to build the next coalition following the April election, Netanyahu had an initial four-week period to form a government according to Israeli law. The initial period ends this coming Tuesday.

Rivlin is expected to approve an additional 14 days, meaning Netanyahu will have to complete the task by May 28.

So far, only initial talks were held regarding the forming of the next coalition, and no agreements were reached between Likud and its other potentials partners.

Among the most pressing issues awaiting the new government will be U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The team drafting it, led by Trump's Middle East adviser Jared Kushner, has said it will be unveiled in June and will require compromise by all parties. 

Reuters contributed to this report.