JERUSALEM, March 10 (UPI) -- The fundamental principles for a new government have been agreed upon, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in Jerusalem Sunday.
Netanyahu told the last Cabinet meeting of the outgoing government that negotiations to form a new coalition will focus on ministerial portfolios, Israel Radio reported.
Israel Radio, The Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post reported Netanyahu is expected to announce the forming of the new government Tuesday. Ynetnews.com said the prime minister is expected to make the announcement Wednesday.
In the past four years, the outgoing government achieved more of its aims than any government in the history of the state, the prime minister said, and "brought Israel to a position where it is more secure and prosperous," The Jerusalem Post reported.
Ministers who are members of the ultra-orthodox Shas political party boycotted the Cabinet meeting to protest their exclusion from the coalition, The Times of Israel said.
The new government will face "tremendous" security challenges, Netanyahu said, adding they were "piling around us, and we will of course need to deal with that in the next government," the Post reported. The new government will also need to address the cost of living and housing and equalize the military and tax burden, the prime minister said.
President Shimon Peres last Sunday granted Netanyahu a two-week extension to form the new government, a result of the Jan. 22 elections.