Biden congratulates Israel's Netanyahu on election victory

President Joe Biden has called former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to congratulate him on his victory in last week's Israeli election

Eleanor H. Reich
Monday 07 November 2022 19:51 GMT

President Joe Biden on Monday called former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to congratulate him on his victory in last week's Israeli election, their offices announced.

The two men stressed the strong relations between the countries while playing down the deep ideological differences, highlighted by Netanyahu's close alliance with a far-right anti-Arab party, that threaten to strain ties in the coming months.

According to Netanyahu’s office, Biden stressed the years-long friendship between the men, stating they are “brothers” and together will “make history.” It said the president mentioned his “unwavering support for Israel.”

Netanyahu predicted that together they will bring “more historic peace agreements,” a reference to the diplomatic pacts with Arab countries brokered by the Trump administration when Netanyahu was in office in 2020.

Netanyahu, who was ousted from office last year, also said his commitment to the alliance with the U.S. is “stronger than ever.”

In Washington, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre said the two leaders spoke and Biden offered his congratulations. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Israeli government on our shared interests and values,” she said.

“Warm phone call, great talk ... unbreakable ties,” the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, added in a statement on Twitter.

Biden has a strong record of support for Israel and in July was warmly welcomed during a three-day visit. But he and Netanyahu have had a strained relationship at times due to differences over a number of key issues.

Netanyahu’s rocky ties with former President Barack Obama, his close relations with former President Donald Trump, and his current alliance with far-right extremists threaten to further strain relations.

Netanyahu secured a parliamentary majority in last week's election with an alliance that included the anti-Arab Religious Zionism party and a pair of ultra-Orthodox parties. He is expected to form a governing coalition with them in the coming weeks.

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