WASHINGTON - The White House on Wednesday renewed its call for
a resumption of long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in the wake
of Israeli elections in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged the
winner but with a weaker-than-expected showing for his right-wing
White House spokesman Jay Carney declined to speculate on
Netanyahu's efforts to forge a new governing coalition after center-left parties
scored surprising gains but said President Barack Obama would likely call the
prime minister to congratulate him on his election win.
"We believe that
what needs to take place is direct negotiations between the two parties
(Israelis and Palestinians) that addresses the final-status issues and results
in a two-state solution," Carney told reporters when asked about the possible
consequences of the election for moribund peace efforts.
Obama in his
first term failed to make progress in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking but his
administration has signaled that it may make another peace push in his second
term, which started with his inauguration earlier this week.