(photo credit: AP)
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert thanked former President George W. Bush and congratulated President Barack Hussein Obama on Tuesday, shortly after Obama's inauguration.
Olmert thanked Bush for the friendship and closeness that prevailed between Israel and the United States during his term of office.
Both countries have shared values and saw eye-to-eye on many issues on the global agenda. The United States, including both parties, has been a true and strong friend of the State of Israel over the years, especially during former President Bush's term of office, the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.
Olmert also congratulated Obama personally: "The greatest democracy in the world has again proven that it is a beacon and example for many countries. The entire State of Israel rejoices with the United States and welcomes President Obama, who took the oath of office this evening.
"Barack Obama's journey to the White House has impressed and inspired the entire world. I am convinced that the United States' deep and abiding ties with Israel will strengthen further. The values of democracy, brotherhood and freedom that constitute the building blocks of American society are also shared by Israeli society, together with the faith in man's power and ability to change and influence his surroundings.
"We wish the incoming President success in his office and are certain that we will be full partners in advancing peace and stability in the Middle East."