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News In Brief

Likud, Labor chiefs meeting to discuss coalition for Israel

Israel moved closer to coalition leadership Tuesday, as opposition leader Shimon Peres accepted Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's invitation to begin negotiations today on forming a national-unity government.

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Mr. Shamir, who heads the right-wing Likud bloc, issued the invitation to Mr. Peres, the Labor Party leader, after consulting President Chaim Herzog, saying that only a coalition of the two main parties could save the nation from economic chaos. He said there are no differences in principle on the economy or Lebanon, just differences in nuance, which could be bridged.

Mr. Herzog is meeting the two leaders again today and will consult heads of smaller parties later this week before deciding whom to nominate to head the new government.