Just hours after the US presidential debate in which he was mentioned once, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that when it comes to Washington’s continued support of Israel, “it doesn't matter” whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is elected.Netanyahu, who returned Monday from New York where he met the day before with both presidential candidates, said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting that he spoke with both of them at length about Israel and the region.“Both of them talked about their support of Israel, and the importance of the ties between the two countries,” he said. “It doesn't matter which of them will be elected, the support for Israel will remain strong, the alliance will remain strong, and will even get stronger in the coming years.”
Netanyahu's name came up at the end of Monday night's debate between the two candidates, when Trump, criticizing the Iran nuclear deal, said, “I met with Bibi Netanyahu the other day, believe me, he is not a happy camper.”The weekly cabinet meeting was postponed from Sunday to Tuesday because Netanyahu was out of the country.Referring to his meeting last Wednesday with US President Barack Obama, Netanyahu said it was an “excellent meeting” during which he thanked him for the $38 billion 10-year military aid package signed earlier this month.“It is no secret that there have been disagreements between me and President Obama, first and foremost on the Iran issue,” Netanyahu said. “But it is also clear these disagreements did not harm at all the stable and strong relationship between the two countries.”Netanyahu stressed that the relationship between the two countries is not only based on shared interests, but also on shared values, with the American people – whom he said support Israel as much now as ever – seeing their values represented by Israel. Netanyahu also addressed Israel's improving relations with other countries in the world, first and foremost Africa. He repeated what he said during his speech in the UN last week, that it is “only a matter of time” before the automatic majority of countries voting against Israel in the international body will dissolve.“It is just a matter of time before the relations that are developing between us and the nations of the world will be represented as well in the ways these countries vote at the UN,” he said. The premier said that this automatic block rests to a large degree on the African votes, and soon those votes will be brought “to the other side.”Netanyahu characterized this as a “big change in Israel's international position,” and -- as he has done previously -- called on his ministers to travel to Africa to further strengthen the ties there.
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