updated 7/8/2004 1:30:38 PM ET 2004-07-08T17:30:38

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced Thursday that he has scheduled a meeting with opposition leader Shimon Peres to discuss the formation of a coalition government.

Sharon told a conference that the meeting will take place on Sunday.

Sharon's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip next year has drawn criticism from his traditional hard-line supporters and cost him his parliamentary majority.

Inviting the opposition Labor Party into the coalition would give Sharon a new majority as he moves forward with the plan.

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