US concerned over Netanyahu heading right-wing Israeli government

February 12th, 2009 - 5:46 pm ICT by ANI  

Jerusalem, Feb 12 (ANI): US officials are publicly taking a wait-and-watch approach to the formation of a new Israeli Government, but privately have expressed concern over Likud Party leader Binyamin Netanyahu heading a right-wing coalition.

There would be great unease at the prospect of such a government; the Jerusalem Post quoted one Capitol Hill source, as saying.

He predicted that a governing coalition of parties from the Right could embolden the Left flank of the democratic party and turn up pressure, particularly in the US Congress, to pass measures that made clear demands on Israel.

He distinguished, however, between a Netanyahu-led right-wing coalition and Netanyahu-led national unity government.

The source noted that Netanyahu had made a strong effort to reach out to the Obama Administration and made the case to the US and the Israeli public that he could work with the White House.

He said that attitude could help assuage US concerns when presented in a national-unity package, whose positions - whether under Netanyahu or Livni - would be more in line with the USs own policies of engagement on Arab-Israeli reconciliation.

The hope is that there is a government that is really committed to peace with the Palestinians, The Washington Post quoted one senior administration official saying.

Even if Netanyahu prevails, the official added, hes grown over the years. Getting back to the talks with the Palestinians is really the only solution.

Ron Dermer, a senior adviser to Netanyahu, said Wednesday that the Likud leader strongly preferred to put together a national-unity government that looked toward the center of the countrys political spectrum rather than a right-wing coalition. (ANI)

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