US ambassador: Election results won't alter Israel ties

Cunningham says US will continue to maintain Israel's qualitative military edge, assist efforts to defend against Hamas, Hizbullah rocket-fire.

November 7, 2010 23:06
1 minute read.
Election official guides voters

Vote midterms. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)


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Last week's midterm elections in the US will not affect Washington's policy towards Israel, US Ambassador to Israel James Cunningham said in Tel Aviv on Sunday.

Speaking at a conference held at Bar-Ilan University's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Cunningham said that peace between the Palestinian Authority and Israel remains an American interest and that Washington will continue to push for direct talks between the two sides.

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Cunninham also said that there is bipartisan agreement in the US that America's relationship with Israel is sacrosanct and that the states share common values and the US will continue to work to safeguard Israel's security and right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state.

Cunnigham expressed the concern that the US feels towards Iran's nuclear weapons program and promised that the Washington would continue to work to prevent Teheran from having a nuclear weapon, and would help defend Israel from Hizbullah and Hamas.

In the aftermath of the midterm elections, meanwhile, American analyst Christianto Wibisono stated that US President Barack Obama would have a harder time brokering a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians after the Democrats lost control of the US House of Representatives.

"And as long as there is no peace between Israel and Palestine, things aren't going to go smoothly in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Also analyzing the election results, Zalman Shoval, a Netanyahu confidant and former Israeli ambassador to the US, said the results marked a vote of no confidence in Obama — but he doubted the change in Congress would influence US-Israel relations and the US-led peace process.

"Foreign policy is the prerogative of the president, even if he is weak," said Shoval.

The Associated Press also contributed to this report.

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