Cameron congratulates Netanyahu on election victory, reaffirms strong UK-Israel friendship

Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday congratulated his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on having secured a decisive victory in Tuesday’s general election.

In a message via Twitter, Cameron said “Congratulations to Netanyahu on election result.” He was quick to reiterate the strength of UK-Israel relations, adding “As one of Israel’s firmest friends, UK looks forward to working with new government.” According to the Daily Mail, a Downing Street spokesman elaborated, saying that Cameron “wants to see peace, he wants to see a two-state solution and we are going to – as one of Israel’s firmest friends – continue to do what we can to support that goal.”

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry called Netanyahu to offer his congratulations, although no details of the call were released. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that US President Barack Obama is likely to follow suit, commenting “I do anticipate that the president will call Prime Minister Netanyahu in the coming days.” However, Earnest added that the White House will “re-evaluate our position” on the peace process in light of Netanyahu distancing himself from the two-state solution on the eve of Tuesday’s election.

European Union (EU) foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini added her congratulations to Netanyahu. She said that the EU is “committed to working with” the new Israeli government and said she, “staunchly supports a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict… We are at your side, you can count on us.” It was reported yesterday that Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond told a Jewish communal gathering that “the really robust position” taken by the UK and Germany is preventing the EU from being more critical of Israel over paralysis in the peace process.

Among the other world leaders responding to Tuesday’s election, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that “Israel has no greater friend than Canada” and looks forward to working with the new Israeli government. Meanwhile, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted congratulations to “my friend Bibi Netanyahu.”

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