President Biden spoke by phone on Monday with former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is set to return to power in Israel, and congratulated him on his country’s elections, the White House confirmed.
Biden spoke with Netanyahu “to congratulate him on his party’s victory and commend Israel’s free and fair elections,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
The president reaffirmed the strength of the bilateral partnership and underscored his unwavering support for Israel’s security, Jean-Pierre said, adding that the White House will be monitoring the government formation process.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Israeli government on our shared interests and values,” Jean-Pierre said.
Netanyahu teamed up with far-right parties to form a conservative coalition and win the election last week. He beat his main opponent, Prime Minister Yair Lapid, a centrist who conceded on Thursday.
Netanyahu, a Trump ally, backed the former president’s move to withdraw from the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal. The Biden administration supports the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which it says is the best opportunity to box in Iran’s nuclear program.
Biden achieved a key victory in May 2021 with Netanyahu following a temporary cease-fire after 11 days of conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Biden’s messaging, which involved holding back overt criticism of Israeli actions, was credited as smoothing the relationship between Washington and Jerusalem.
Netanyahu is the longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s history, having served from 1996 to 1999 and again from 2009 until 2021.
Source: The Hill