herald

Friday 20 October 2017

US fail to congratulate Netanyahu on win

The Obama administration stopped short of congratulating Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his party's election victory, sitting on the sidelines until the coalition-building process plays out.

"We're going to give space to the formation of that coalition government," David Simas, director of political strategy and outreach,said. "We're not going to weigh in one way or another."

Simas didn't mention Netanyahu, who declared victory, by name. Instead, he congratulated the Israeli people for the "democratic process".

A Netanyahu victory complicates two of President Barack Obama's foreign policy objectives - a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians that includes a two-state solution and an accord to limit Iran's nuclear program.

As the election approached, Netanyahu (left) advocated forcefully against both, including in a speech to the US Congress last month warning against the Iran nuclear deal.

hnews@herald.ie

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