This morning, the White House conspicuously avoided sending any message of congratulations to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his sweeping victory yesterday. Weekly Standard reports:
On CNN this morning, White House aide David Simas avoided congratulating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Israeli elections. Instead, he would only congratulate the Israeli people on having an election.
“We want to congratulate the Israeli people for the democratic process for the election that they just engaged in with all the parties that engaged in that election. As you know now, the hard work of coalition building begins. Sometimes that takes a couple of weeks. And we’re going to give space to the formation of that coalition government and we’re not going to weigh in one way or another except to say that the United States and Israel have a historic and close relationship and that will continue going forward,” Simas said.
While Obama has had public differences with Netanyahu recently, in the past he has made efforts to congratulate leaders that have a much more adversarial relationship with the United States as well as shamefully undemocratic electoral processes.
On August 12, 2014, Reuters reported:
Obama congratulates Turkey’s Erdogan on presidential win
U.S. President Barack Obama congratulated Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday for his victory as the country’s next president, the White House said.
Erdogan vowed to pursue a period of reconciliation in Turkey after securing the post with more than 52 percent of the vote on Sunday.
“The president praised the prime minister’s speech on Sunday and noted that as Turkey’s first directly elected president, the prime minister has an historic opportunity to further move Turkey forward,” the White House said in a statement.
The call lasted 45 minutes, according to Turkish sources.
Erdogan last month acknowledged strains in his relations with Obama, saying he no longer spoke directly to the U.S. president as he had in the past.
Erdogan’s leadership style, from his bombastic rhetoric on Israel to his crackdown on anti-government protests last summer, has raised increasing concern among Western allies in recent years.
On June 10, 2014, Reuters reported:
Obama calls new Egyptian president to congratulate him: White House
President Barack Obama called new Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Tuesday and affirmed their commitment to a U.S.-Egyptian strategic partnership, the White House said.
Sisi was sworn in on Sunday, almost a year after toppling elected President Mohamed Mursi, an ouster that Obama resisted calling a coup because it would have prompted Washington to cut off assistance to Egypt.
The White House said Obama called Sisi to congratulate him on his inauguration and “to convey his commitment to working together to advance the shared interests of both countries.”
On September 27, 2013, the Los Angeles Times reported:
Obama breaks three decades of silence with call to Iranian president
Obama began by congratulating Rouhani on his June election. He referred to the long mistrust between the two sides but said he believed the talks were already making progress.
Israeli leaders and senior U.S. lawmakers, some of whom remain wary of Iran’s intentions, were notified of Obama’s plans ahead of time.
Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor blasted Obama for failing to press the Iranian leader on terrorism, Syria and other issues.
And on March 9, 2012, Weekly Standard reported:
Obama Calls to Congratulate Putin
CBS’s Mark Knoller reports:
Pres. Obama phoning congratulations from AF-1 to Pres-elect Vladimir Putin of Russia.
As the New York Times reported earlier in the week, there are serious charges that Putin rigged the election: “A day after claiming an overwhelming victory in Russia’s presidential election, Vladimir V. Putin on Monday faced a range of challenges to his legitimacy, including charges of fraud from international observers and a defiant opposition that vowed to keep him from serving his full six-year term.”
Even the State Department called for an investigation into the election earlier in the week.
Yet with President Obama reportedly calling to congratulate Putin, apparently the White House isn’t too concerned with the fraudulent election–or even its worrisome outcome.
On September 21, 2014, the Washington Examiner reported:
Obama congratulates new power-sharing leaders in Afghanistan
President Obama on Sunday made a congratulatory call to Afghanistan’s newly elected president, Ashraf Ghani, and the runner-up, Abdullah Abdullah, who have agreed to a power-sharing deal.
The country’s election commission on Sunday named Ghani the winner of the election. An audit of vote tallies conducted by the United Nations was not disclosed, fueling criticism of the election process.
On November 15, 2012, the Weekly Standard reported:
Report: Obama Congratulates Top Chinese Communist on New Position
A report in the Chinese state-run Xinhua outlet claims that President Barack Obama congratulated Xi Jinping on his “election” to be the top Communist in China. Jinping will be the next president of China, and now controls the Chinese military.
On June 24, 2012, the Washington Times reported:
Obama congratulates Morsi on winning Egyptian presidency
The White House congratulated Islamist candidate Mohammed Morsi on his election as Egypt’s first freely elected president, calling it a milestone in the country’s transition to democracy.
In a statement, press secretary Jay Carney also addressed another major U.S. fear of an Islamist victory, saying the Obama administration believes Mr. Morsi and his new government “have both the legitimacy and responsibility of representing a diverse and courageous citizenry.”
“We believe in the importance of the new Egyptian government upholding universal values, and respecting the rights of all Egyptian citizens – including women and religious minorities such as Coptic Christians,” Mr. Carney said.
Morsi was overthrown by the Egyptians for his dictatorial behavior less than a year later.
On June 18, 2012, the Chicago Tribune reported on Obama congratulating the Saudis for a dictatorial transition of power:
Obama congratulates Saudi king on selecting new heir
U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday congratulated Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah for naming Prince Salman as heir apparent and said he was looking forward to continuing to deepen the U.S.-Saudi partnership.
“I had the pleasure of receiving him at the White House this April and know that he is a man of deep faith who is committed to improving the lives of the people of Saudi Arabia and to the
security of the region,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House.
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