Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Netanyahu responds to Midterm outcome: Will continue working closely with President Obama

After the conclusion of the midterm elections in the US on Tuesday, Israel is preparing to step up talks with the American administration vis-à-vis the stalemated negotiations with the Palestinians.

Sources in Jerusalem on Wednesday said that contact between the two administrations has been scaled down over the past two weeks, due to the congressional elections.

Despite the setback democrats suffered in the elections, experts estimated that the outcome will not affect the American president's attitude toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or the negotiations.

The officials noted that Obama will most likely continue pressuring Israel to jumpstart direct talks with the Palestinians, including an extension on the construction freeze in the West Bank.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's Office denounced opposition leader Tzipi Livni's remarks, in which she implied that governmental echelons in Jerusalem welcomed Obama's defeat in Congress.

"We regret that the opposition chairwoman chose to base her comments on groundless rumors. It is advisable that Tzipi Livni check the facts before she quotes utter lies," read a statement issued by Netanyahu's bureau.

"The prime minister is ceaselessly acting to strengthen ties with the American people, both houses of Congress and the administration. Both the outgoing and incoming Congress greatly supports Israel.

"The prime minister will continue working closely with President Obama and his administration in order to promote peace, as well as interests and values shared by Israel and the Unites states," read the statement.

Netanyahu is scheduled to visit the United States next week, and meet with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.