January 29, 2013 - 09:14 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday, Jan 28, called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to congratulate him on "his party’s success in winning a plurality of Knesset seats."
According to The Jerusalem Post, during the phone call, Obama told Netanyahu he looks forward to working with the new government, and reiterated his commitment to the "deep and enduring bonds" between Israel and the United States.
Obama also pledged to the prime minister to "work closely with Israel" on their "shared agenda for peace and security in the Middle East."
The phone call came almost a week after the prime minister won a narrow victory in the election, giving credence to reports that the two leaders had less than cordial relations.
Former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk told the Israeli media on Monday that while Obama and Netanyahu do indeed have chemistry, at the moment it is "bad chemistry."
Speaking to Army Radio, Indyk called it a "mistake" for Obama not to visit Jerusalem on his pre-election trip to Israel in 2008, and that he erred in not visiting Jerusalem since. It is "very important" that Israelis come to see Obama as "a man that is deeply committed to Israel's security."
With regard to Obama's state of mind, Indyk said that he believes, "President Obama is feeling quite frustrated because he rightly feels that he has done the right thing by Israel, but Israel is not responsive."
Indyk suggested that once Netanyahu has formed his new government, he should "reach out to President Obama and try to turn a new page." He added that the "relations between the United States and Israel are more important than the differences between the two leaders." Referring to these tensions, which have been widely reported, Indyk said that the two heads of state "need to overcome them."