US President Barack Obama sent greetings of congratulations to Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday who was elected to be the tenth president of Israel earlier in the day. “President-elect Rivlin has a long and dedicated record of public service and we look forward to continued strong ties, to the benefit of both our nations, under Mr. Rivlin’s presidency,” Obama wrote in a prepared statement.
Obama also took the opportunity to praise outgoing President Shimon Peres.
“As President Shimon Peres nears the end of his term, he can look back on a remarkable legacy of courage, conviction, and compassion. He has dedicated his extraordinary life to the cause of peace, and I look forward to welcoming him in Washington later this month where he will receive the Congressional Gold Medal,” Obama wrote.
Before Obama released his statement Tuesday, US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki also congratulated Rivlin on his election victory.
But, Psaki declined to comment on Rivlin's politics or on his position on West Bank settlements.
Rivlin, 74, opposes the formation of a Palestinian state and advocates giving Israeli citizenship to Palestinians.
The president-elect strongly identifies with Jerusalem, the city of his birth, paying tribute to it in nearly all of his speeches, and has lived there his whole life. Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.