The News Scroll 24 May 2019  Last Updated at 5:41 am | Source: PTI

Netanyahu calls up Modi to congratulate on election victory

Netanyahu calls up Modi to congratulate on election victory

By Harinder Mishra

Jerusalem, May 24 (PTI) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has personally congratulated his counterpart Narendra Modi over a phone call, hours after he became the first world leader to do so through Twitter.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led his Bharatiya Janata Party to a super-sized victory for a second term in office, winning an absolute majority bagging 272 of the 458 seats, results of which were declared past midnight, and was on course to touch the 300-seat mark in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

"Narendra my friend, congratulations! What an enormous victory! I hope Narendra that we can see each other soon, as soon as you form a government and as soon as we form a government," Netanyahu was seen saying in a short video clip of the phone call released by the PMO here Thursday.

Modi can neither be seen or heard in the clip.

The two leaders were scheduled to meet on February 11 before the elections in Israel but Netanyahu called off his trip to New Delhi due to other engagements.

The right-wing bloc in Israel registered a victory in the parliamentary elections, winning 65 out of 120 seats, with Netanyahu's Likud party bagging 35 seats, five more than the last general elections in 2015.

However, the Israeli prime minister lamented over the difficulties faced by him in forging a coalition after he was assigned the task by President Reuven Rivlin.

"Well, thank you for your congratulations on my victory, but there's one difference: You don't need a coalition, I do," Netanyahu said over the phone.

The Israeli PM has to cobble together a coalition before the final deadline of May 28.

He had sought a two-week extension to put a coalition together after having failed to reach an agreement with supporting parties in the 28 days' time given by Rivlin.

Netanyahu Thursday became the first world leader to congratulate Modi for scripting an "impressive victory" in the general elections and vowed to strengthen their "great friendship" as well as bilateral ties.

"Greetings from the depth of my heart dear friend on your impressive victory in the elections," Netanyahu tweeted in Hebrew, Hindi and English.

"The election results are a re-approval of your leadership and the way you lead the world's greatest democracy. Together we will continue to strengthen the great friendship between us and India and Israel and lead it to new heights," he tweeted.

The personal chemistry between the two leaders has been widely discussed in the media in both India and Israel.

Netanyahu visited India in January 2018 while Prime Minister Modi travelled to Tel Aviv in 2017, becoming the first Indian Prime Minister to tour the Jewish state, where Netanyahu received him at the airport.

A picture of two of them strolling barefoot at the Olga beach in northern Israel during Modi's visit to the country in 2017 created waves with talks of 'bromance' in Israel.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry also congratulated Modi with spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon hailing the countries' "very close relations, based on common values and a deep friendship!" PTI HM IJT

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI
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