PM Benjamin Netanyahu with new European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday congratulated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his reelection, saying the EU was committed to working with the new Israeli government “on a mutually beneficial relationship as well as on the relaunch of the peace process.”
Mogherini said in a statement that “we are at a crucial moment, with many threats all over the Middle East.”
Without mentioning Netanyahu's distancing himself from the two-state solution in the final day of the campaign, Mogherini said the EU “staunchly supports a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in the interest of the Israeli people, of the Palestinian people and of the whole region. We are at your side, you can count on us.”
The statement said that “bold leadership” was needed more than ever to “reach a comprehensive, stable and viable settlement of a conflict that has already deprived too many generations of peace and security. It's time to turn this page and I'm confident that we can work together with the international community for a solution that will guarantee peace and security in the Middle East.”
The statement came just two days after Mogherini appointed a new EU Middle East envoy, a move that diplomatic officials said was a signal that the EU intended to take a more robust role in the diplomatic process.US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Tuesday night that the United States is looking forward to working with the next Israeli government.
"We congratulate the citizens of Israel on today’s election. The reported large turnout is another reminder of the vibrancy of Israel’s democracy and why the United States will remain firm in our commitment to our deep and abiding partnership with Israel... We look forward to working with the next Israeli Government, including on our shared agreement for peace and security in the Middle East."
In regards to statements made by Netanyahu yesterday about "Arab voters turning out in droves to vote," Psaki said "we have seen reports about his statements. What we’ve always admired about Israel is its vibrancy as a democracy, which includes the right of all citizens to vote, whether they’re Arab or Jewish citizens. And we’re always concerned, broadly speaking, about any statements that may be aimed at marginalizing certain communities."
Psaki also reaffirmed the Obama administrations commitment a two-state solution. "Only a two-state solution that results in a secure Israel alongside a sovereign and independent Palestine can bring lasting peace and stability to both people. Of course, we will continue to pursue this goal with the new Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority."
Jpost.com staff contributed to this report