Trump: Netanyahu win boosts chances of Mideast peace deal

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President Trump on Wednesday said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reelection victory increases the chances for a Mideast peace deal.

“Everybody said you can’t have peace in the Middle East with Israel and the Palestinians,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “I think we have a chance and I think we have now a better chance with Bibi having won.”

{mosads}The president’s comments came hours after Netanyahu won a record-setting fifth term in office following a campaign in which Trump’s support gave the Israeli leader a key boost.

Later Wednesday, Netanyahu said he received a congratulatory call from Trump while the president flew aboard Air Force One to Texas.

The Israeli leader said he thanked Trump for his actions in support of the Israeli government, including the decision to recognize Israel’s control of the disputed Golan Heights just two weeks before the election.

Trump also shared a photo on Twitter depicting Netanyahu supporters waving Trump flags at a victory rally and he later confirmed he spoke with the prime minister

Netanyahu edged out his main challenger, former Israel Defense Forces head Benny Gantz, in Tuesday’s election that was shadowed by corruption charges against the longtime Israeli leader.

The Trump administration has long been expected to release a Middle East peace plan, but more than two years into Trump’s presidency, no such proposal has been produced.

White House national security adviser John Bolton said Wednesday the administration will put out its plan “in the very near future.”

“That opens all kinds of prospects. Then the struggle against Iran’s efforts to subvert peace and security in the region continues. And Netanyahu will play a big, big part in that, along with President Trump,” Bolton told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

Updated at 11:59 a.m.

Tags Donald Trump Israel Israeli elections Trump tweets White House
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