Several world leaders congratulated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday for his election to a fifth term, including President Donald Trump.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said of Netanyahu, “It may be a little early but I’m hearing he’s won it and won it in good fashion,” Politico reported.
“He has been a great ally. He is a friend. I would like to congratulate him,” Trump added.
The president also said that Netanyahu’s victory would increase the chances for success of the administration’s upcoming peace plan, which is expected to be unveiled soon.
“The fact that Bibi won, I think we’ll see some pretty good action in terms of peace,” Trump stated. “Look, everyone said — and I never made it a promise — but everybody said you can’t have peace in the Middle East with Israel and the Palestinians. I think we have a chance. I think we have now a better chance with Bibi having won.”
Israel’s Government Press Office said in a statement that Trump had personally called Netanyahu from Air Force One to congratulate him. Netanyahu thanked Trump for his support of Israel and “the two leaders again expressed their appreciation for the abiding friendship between them and their countries. They agreed to continue closely working together in the coming years for both Israel and the United States.”
Trump also tweeted about Netanyahu after seeing a picture of his supporters waving a “Make American Great Again” banner.
“Trump flags being waived [sic] at the Bibi @Netanyahu VICTORY celebration last night!” Trump wrote.
Netanyahu also received enthusiastic congratulations from the other side of the world, with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeting, “My dear friend Bibi, Congratulations! You are a great friend of India, and I look forward to continuing to work with you to take our bilateral partnership to new heights.”
Modi also posted a Hebrew translation of his tweet.
From Europe, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz tweeted, “Congratulations to Prime Minister @netanyahu for an excellent showing in yesterday’s national elections.”
“While the official results have yet not been published, one matter is clear: you have — once again — gained the trust of the people of #Israel in record numbers,” said Kurz.
“I am looking forward to working with you in the future,” he added, “for the benefit of the people of Israel and the people of Austria.”