The White House renewed its call for a resumption of long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations on Wednesday in the wake of the Israeli elections in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged the winner, though with a weaker-than-expected showing for his right-wing bloc.
White House spokesman Jay Carney declined to speculate on Netanyahu's efforts to forge a new governing coalition after center-left parties scored surprising gains. He did say that U.S. President Barack Obama would likely call the prime minister to congratulate him on his election win.
"We believe that what needs to take place is direct negotiations between the two parties [Israelis and Palestinians] that addresses the final-status issues and results in a two-state solution," Carney told reporters when asked about the possible consequences of the election for moribund peace efforts.
During his first term, Obama failed to make significant progress in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking but his administration has signaled that it may make another peace push in his second term, which started with his inauguration earlier this week.