Wednesday, 24 Apr 2019 - 19 of Nisan, 5779

Austrian Chancellor Kurz first EU leader to congratulate Netanyahu for his election for a fifth term

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“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.’’

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was the first EU leader to congratulate incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his election for a fifth term   in Tuesday’s elections.

He wrote in a tweet : “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.’’

With almost all votes counted, both men’s parties are neck and neck.

But a coalition between Netanyahu’s Likud party and smaller right-wing and religious parties could form a 65 seat majority in the 120-seat Knesset, the Israeli parliament.

 Czech President Milos Zeman, another staunch friend of Israel in Europe,  also quickly congratulated Netanyahu: “I hope that in the future we will have many opportunities to continue our fruitful cooperation and, last but not least, to fulfill my dream, namely to move the Czech embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

Zeman visited Israel in November, where he reiterated his promise to move his country’s embassy, stressing his solidarity with the Jewish people.

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini congratulated Netanyahu. ‘’Good job to my friend Bibi Netanyahu and a hug to the people of Israel,” he tweeted.

A German government spokesperson said that the government would work with any new Israeli government but stopped short of offering congratulations.

The German government “will work closely, cordially and faithfully with the new Israeli government,” spokesman Steffen Seibert said, adding that Berlin was waiting for the official result.

“Israel lies in a region with enormous challenges, which is why it’s important to form a government quickly,” he said.

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