U.S. Welcomes New Government

In its most comprehensive statement to date on Israel’s new national unity government, the United States on Friday welcomed the Likud-Labor coalition and said it hopes to work with Israel to increase ties and advance Middle East peace prospects.

“The United States welcomes the establishment in Israel of a new government of national unity,” State Department spokeswoman Phyllis Oakley said. “The U.S-Israeli relationship has been marked by frequent and close consultations and cooperation on a number of important bilateral and regional issues,” she added.

“We look forward to continuing this consultative process with our Israeli friends to strengthen further the enduring ties between our two countries and to advance the Middle East peace process.”

After meeting with Secretary of State George Shultz on Wednesday, a U.S. Jewish leader said Shultz stated a preference for the new government over a narrow-based government.

Morris Abram, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said Shultz told representatives of the conference that a broad-based government could “best move forward” toward peace.

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