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Israel congratulates Obama on re-election

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, second right, attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office, Sunday, July 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Ronen Zvulun, Pool)

JERUSALEM: Israel's vice prime minister Silvan Shalom on Wednesday congratulated US President Barack Obama on his reelection, saying the Jewish state expected ties with Washington to remain strong.

"All the US administrations have supported Israel on the political, security and economic fronts because we have common interests and values," Shalom told public radio.

"Barack Obama has been with us during the most sensitive moments," he added.

"Those who say that it will be hard and that there will be a confrontation during the second Obama term are wrong."

Relations between Obama and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have at times been tense, with the Israeli leader appearing to throw his support behind Obama's Republican opponent Mitt Romney.

But in recent weeks, as Obama's reelection looked increasingly likely, Israeli officials have sought to stress that a second term for the US president would not see bilateral ties deteriorate.

Netanyahu's office had no immediate reaction to Obama's reelection, apparently waiting until after his acceptance speech to offer comment.

 

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