White House says Obama congratulates Netanyahu on election win

WASHINGTON Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:52pm EST

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves to supporters upon arrival at the Likud party headquarters in Tel Aviv January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves to supporters upon arrival at the Likud party headquarters in Tel Aviv January 23, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Baz Ratner

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Monday congratulated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his party's victory in last week's Israeli elections and pledged to work closely with the country's new government on Middle East peace, the White House said.

"The president indicated that the United States looks forward to working with the next government," the White House said in a statement describing the telephone call between the two leaders known to have a strained relationship.

"He also reiterated his commitment to the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel, and pledged to work closely with Israel on our shared agenda for peace and security in the Middle East," the statement said.

(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick and Jeff Mason; Editing by Will Dunham)

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