Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and president-elect Reuven Rivlin met in Jerusalem on Wednesday one day after Rivlin was elected to be the tenth president of Israel.
Prior to the election, Netanyahu seemed to do everything possible to prevent the victory of Rivlin, who has sparred with him politically for years.
Netanyahu sought unsuccessfully to persuade several public figures to run until moments before a midnight deadline for joining the race two weeks ago. The prime minister considered former rivals like former foreign ministers David Levy and Silvan Shalom.
He asked Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky, begged Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, and pleaded with Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.
But on Tuesday Netanyahu congratulated Rivlin on his victory saying that the Jerusalem-born Likud MK was part of the "legacy of Zionism," at the official toast after the election at the Knesset.
"As a man of the Land of Israel and Israel's first citizen, you have two missions: to bring all the parts of the society together and to represent Israel to the world," Netanyahu said.
"These two missions you will fulfill as the president to the best of your ability," Netanyahu said, thanking him for his years of service.
Near the end of the meeting, Netanyahu emphasized the things he and Rivlin share in common, such as both being Jerusalemites, sons of professors and fans of the same soccer team.
"We've gone through many things in life together and now we will put aside our differences and work for the sake of the State of Israel's future," he said.Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.
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