Obama congratulates Israel's Netanyahu on election

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is congratulating Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his success in last week's election.

The White House says Obama and Netanyahu spoke by telephone on Monday, almost a week after Netanyahu's ticket narrowly won the most seats in Israel's parliamentary election.

In the phone call, Obama said he looked forward to working with Israel's next government and affirmed his commitment to a strong U.S. relationship with Israel and to promoting regional peace and security.

The hawkish Netanyahu emerged weakened by the election but is still poised to stay on as prime minister. That means Obama's counterpart in any second-term peace efforts will most likely be Netanyahu, whose relationship with Obama has been strained.

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