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Netanyahu calls up Modi to congratulate on election victory

Press Trust of India  |  Jerusalem 

Israeli has personally congratulated his counterpart over a phone call, hours after he became the first world leader to do so through

led his to a super-sized victory for a second term in office, winning an absolute majority bagging 272 of the 458 seats, results of which were declared past midnight, and was on course to touch the 300-seat mark in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

"Narendra my friend, congratulations! What an enormous victory! I hope Narendra that we can see each other soon, as soon as you form a and as soon as we form a government," was seen saying in a short video clip of the phone call released by the PMO here Thursday.

Modi can neither be seen or heard in the clip.

The two leaders were scheduled to meet on February 11 before the elections in but called off his trip to due to other engagements.

The right-wing bloc in registered a victory in the parliamentary elections, winning 65 out of 120 seats, with bagging 35 seats, five more than the last in 2015.

However, the Israeli lamented over the difficulties faced by him in forging a coalition after he was assigned the task by

"Well, thank you for your congratulations on my victory, but there's one difference: You don't need a coalition, I do," Netanyahu said over the phone.

The Israeli PM has to cobble together a coalition before the final deadline of May 28.

He had sought a two-week extension to put a coalition together after having failed to reach an agreement with supporting parties in the 28 days' time given by Rivlin.

Netanyahu Thursday became the first world leader to congratulate Modi for scripting an "impressive victory" in the and vowed to strengthen their "great friendship" as well as bilateral ties.

"Greetings from the depth of my heart dear friend on your impressive victory in the elections," Netanyahu tweeted in Hebrew, Hindi and English.

"The election results are a re-approval of your leadership and the way you lead the world's greatest democracy. Together we will continue to strengthen the great friendship between us and and and lead it to new heights," he tweeted.

The personal chemistry between the two leaders has been widely discussed in the media in both and Israel.

Netanyahu visited in January 2018 while Prime Minister Modi travelled to in 2017, becoming the first Indian Prime Minister to tour the Jewish state, where Netanyahu received him at the airport.

A picture of two of them strolling barefoot at the in during Modi's visit to the country in 2017 created waves with talks of 'bromance' in Israel.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 24 2019. 05:40 IST