comments_image Comments

US congratulates Netanyahu on Israeli election

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement at his office in Jerusalem on January 23, 2013
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement at his office in Jerusalem on January 23, 2013.

US President Barack Obama spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to congratulate him on his Likud Party's showing in last week's general election.

"President Obama spoke today by telephone with Prime Minister Netanyahu to congratulate him on his party's success in winning a plurality of Knesset seats in Israel's recent election," a White House statement said.

It was the first time Obama had spoken to Netanyahu since Israelis voted in polls that set the stage for another period of difficult dialogue between Obama and Netanyahu on issues like Iran and the Palestinians.

"President Obama spoke today by telephone with Prime Minister Netanyahu to congratulate him on his party's success in winning a plurality of Knesset seats in Israel's recent election," a White House statement said.

"The president indicated that the United States looks forward to working with the next government.

"He also reiterated his commitment to the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel, and pledged to work closely with Israel on our shared agenda for peace and security in the Middle East."

Obama and Netanyahu have had a prickly relationship, failing to see eye-to-eye on the imminence of the threat from Iran's nuclear program, and Israeli settlement building on lands Palestinians see as a part of their future state.

Netanyahu emerged weaker from the polls, which showed an unexpected surge of support for the centrist Yesh Atid, and is expected to try to form a broad based coalition, which could be less enduring than he had hoped.

Share