Centrist party leader joins new Israeli coalition
February 20, 2013 -- Updated 0034 GMT (0834 HKT)
Tzipi Livni and Benjamin Netanyahu are forging a new political partnership in Israel.
- Tzipi Livni is a former justice minister
- Her centrist party, Hatnua, is the first to join the future coalition
- Livni will play a role in welcoming U.S. President Barack Obama to Israel
Jerusalem (CNN) -- A former foreign minister joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's future governing coalition and has been tapped to lead peace talks with the Palestinians.
Tzipi Livni and her centrist Hatnua party will be part of a government headed by Likud-Beitenu, the political movement headed by the prime minister. Livni, a former opposition leader, foreign minister and justice minister, will again serve in the justice minister post.
Hatnua, which means "movement," is the first party to join a Netanyahu's coalition.
There has been a lot of political jockeying among a range of movements since last month's national elections. Among those are centrists, rightists, and ultra-Orthodox groups.
Netanyahu's mixed victory in Israel
'Intl. community impotent on Syria'
Netanyahu, who was chosen to pick a government after his party won the most votes in the election, wants to build a broad coalition -- one that easily surpasses the 60-seat majority in the 120-member Knesset, Israel's parliament.
"The threats coming from Iran, Syria and the Hezbollah have not stopped for a moment and in order to give an answer to these threats we need to form a wide and stable government," Netanyahu said.
Livni, who campaigned on the importance of the peace process, thanked Netanyahu.
"The obligation to the diplomatic process and the confidence that has been bestowed on us led to this partnership, a partnership that came about after we had talks and I received the appropriate powers to be the negotiator of the State of Israel to get to the end of the conflict with the Palestinians on the basis of the two-state solution," she said.
Pundits are saying that Livni will play an important role in welcoming U.S. President Barack Obama in his upcoming visit to the region.
CNN's Mike Schwartz reported from Jerusalem. CNN's Joe Sterling reported from Atlanta
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0320 GMT (1120 HKT)
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1322 GMT (2122 HKT)
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.