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US 'looking forward' to work with new Israeli gov't

January 23, 2013 10:20

US ambassador offers more effusive response than circumspect comment Tuesday from White House.

Binyamin Netanyahu and US Ambassador Dan Shapiro

Netanyahu and Shapiro 370. (photo credit:Courtesy PMO)

US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro tweeted his congratulations to Israelis on a successful Election Day soon after polls closed across the country on Tuesday night, reiterating the strong bilateral ties between the two nations.

“Mazal tov to the Israeli people on their just completed elections! Always inspiring to see democracy in action!” he wrote.
"Fascinating election from a US perspective. Every democratic system is different. Important thing is the people have their say".

He later posted that the United States “looks forward to working closely with next government of Israel.”

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White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was a little more circumspect earlier Tuesday, saying the Obama administration would wait to see the makeup of the new  government before deciding on how to approach long-standing and critical issues. US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have famously clashed over Israel's approach to the peace process with the Palestinians, in particular settlement construction.

"The United States remains committed, as it has been for a long time, to working with the parties to press forward the goal of a two-state solution. That has not changed, and it will not change," Carney said.

In Washington, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also released a statement praising Israel’s democracy.

“Israel demonstrated once again that it is the only flourishing democracy in the Middle East,” he said.

Engel went on to congratulate Netanyahu for his first-place finish but said that the “US Congress stands shoulder to shoulder with the State of Israel” across its political spectrum.

He added, “We in Congress will always defend Israel. This commitment is ironclad, a pledge made by Democrats and Republicans alike.”

Hilary Leila Krieger and Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.
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