Obama 'looks forward' to working with new Netanyahu government, White House says

May 7, 2015 17:44

US president congratulates Israel, PM on formation of new coalition.

Netanyahu and Obama

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (L) and US President Barack Obama meet in the White House. (photo credit: REUTERS)

WASHINGTON – After expressing harsh criticism of the prime minister both before and after his reelection, US President Barack Obama “looks forward” to working with Benjamin Netanyahu and his newly formed government, the White House said on Thursday.

“The president congratulates the Israeli people, Prime Minister Netanyahu and the new governing coalition on the formation of Israel’s new government,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. “President Obama looks forward to working with Prime Minister Netanyahu and his new government.”

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Netanyahu formed a government in the eleventh hour, comprising a largely conservative block of parties.

Bayit Yehudi, which opposes a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, was the last party to sign on to the coalition and deliver to Netanyahu the necessary 61-seat majority in the Knesset.

“As the president has emphasized, the United States places great importance on our close military, intelligence, and security cooperation with Israel, which reflects the deep and abiding partnership between both countries,” Earnest continued. “We also look forward to continuing consultations on a range of regional issues, including international negotiations to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and the importance of pursuing a two-state solution.”

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