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President Biden Congratulates Netanyahu, Likud on Victory in Israel’s Election

US President Joe Biden called Opposition Leader Binyamin Netanyahu and congratulated him on his party’s victory, the White House said in a readout. “The President reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Israel bilateral partnership, based on a bedrock of shared democratic values and mutual interests, and underscored his unwavering support for Israel’s security,” the statement said, adding that the two leaders “agreed to speak again at the conclusion of Israel’s government formation process.” It was issued hours after Netanyahu tweeted more details about the conversation including that he thanked President Biden for his four-decade-long personal friendship and for his commitment to the state of Israel, and that “I told him that it is within our power to obtain additional peace agreements and also to deal with the threat of Iranian aggression,” referring to the Abraham Accords normalization agreements struck during his last term as prime minister with three Arab countries and to Iran’s violation of the nuclear agreement it struck with the world powers. The call lasted for eight minutes, according to The Jerusalem Post. Netanyahu’s Likud party, together with two ultra-Orthodox parties and the nationalist Religious Zionism alliance, won a clear majority with 64 of the 120 seats in Israel’s parliament, known as the Knesset. Netanyahu already has started holding informal coalition negotiations, though the official process has not yet begun. President Isaac Herzog will receive the official election results later this week and he will then task the candidate most likely to form a government with doing so. Also on Monday, the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak congratulated Netanyahu in a tweet. “On behalf of the UK, I would like to congratulate @netanyahu on his victory in the Israeli elections. Across areas like trade, security and technology there is a huge amount our countries do together and I look forward to working with the returning Prime Minister,” he tweeted.