US President Barack Obama's congratulatory phone call Monday to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is further evidence of the strength of bilateral relations, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told Israel Radio on Tuesday morning. This despite the fact that the call came a week after the January 22 national elections.
"Obama's phone call was outside protocol, as these conversations usually happen when the prime minister actually enters office," Ayalon said. "I'm looking at the positives."
Asked if Netanyahu's intervention in domestic US elections hurt bilateral relations, Ayalon denied that any such intervention took place. "Netanyahu didn't intervene," he said. "Nonetheless, the feeling that he intervened remained, and that hurt relations."