The European Union’s (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, on Friday congratulated Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on the formation of his new government.
In a statement, Mogherini took a similar stance to other world leaders and called for the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) with the end goal of a “two-state” solution.
“I congratulate [Binyamin] Netanyahu for his appointment as Prime Minister of the State of Israel and the new government, following the general elections on 17 March 2015,” Mogherini’s statement said.
“The European Union will continue to work together with Israel on a mutually beneficial bilateral relationship as well as on important regional and global issues of joint interest,” she said.
“The inauguration of the new government will also allow to re-launch the Palestinian/Israeli peace negotiations as soon as possible, with the aim of achieving a comprehensive agreement towards the creation of an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian State living side by side with Israel in peace and security,” said Mogherini.
"The Israeli people and the Palestinian people deserve not only a future, but also a present of peace after too much suffering: entire generations have paid and still pay the price of a lack of confidence and courage. It's time for courageous choices for the institutions of both sides,” she continued.
“They will have the European Union by their side. I am ready to personally engage in order to facilitate further progress and look forward to working with the new government.”
There have been calls on Israel from the international community to resume peace talks with the PA, but the international community has also expressed concern after Netanyahu vowed in interviews during the election campaign that he would never allow the establishment of a Palestinian state under his watch.
Netanyahu later backtracked on his comments but the United States appeared unconvinced and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged him to renew his commitment to a two-state solution.
This week, Ban said that after a new Israeli government has been sworn in he will investigate whether there are "realistic options" for a return to peace talks.
Meanwhile the PA, which torpedoed the last round of talks by unilaterally joining international organizations in breach of the talk’s conditions, lamented the shape of the new Israeli government on Thursday.
The PA’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, claimed the new government "will be one of war which will be against peace and stability in our region."
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)