U.S. President Donald Trump (R) embraces Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after his remarks at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem May 23, 2017.
(photo credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump expressed his disappointment over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s failure to form a coalition, and the decision to go for new elections.
“It’s too bad what happened in Israel,” Trump told reporters outside the White House on Thursday, during a short press gaggle. “It looked like a total win for Netanyahu, who is a great guy. And now they are back at the debate stage, and they are back at the election stage. That is too bad because they don’t need this. They got enough turmoil over there. It’s a tough place.”
It is the second time this week that the president addressed the political situation in Israel. Earlier this week when Netanyahu was still negotiating with his partners, Trump tweeted that he hopes to see the prime minister form a new coalition.
“Hoping things will work out with Israel’s coalition formation and Bibi, and I can continue to make the alliance between America and Israel stronger than ever,” Trump tweeted on Monday. “A lot more to do!”
Netanyahu read the tweet during a live televised statement in which he underscored the need to form a coalition before the deadline.
The two leaders have a strong personal bond. Two months ago during the final stage of the elections in Israel, Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a move that many consider as a personal gesture to Netanyahu in the midst of a tough reelection campaign.
The Likud had a huge poster made featuring the two leaders shaking hands and smiling, with the slogan: “Netanyahu – it’s a different league” placed over the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv. Trump later shared a photo of the poster on his Instagram account.
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