Following the emergence of Naftali Bennett as the new Prime Minister of Israel, world leaders have congratulated Bennett for securing the backing of parliament and ousted longtime leader Benjamin Netanyahu. Russian President; Vladimir Putin has also congratulated Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and expressed hope for “constructive” cooperation.
“I expect that your work at the helm of the government will facilitate a further development of constructive bilateral cooperation along with all directions,” Putin said in a message released by the Kremlin.
“No doubt it is in the vital interests of our people,” Putin said, adding that Russia-Israeli cooperation would help strengthen “peace, security, and stability in the Middle East.”
Bennett, who was born and raised in Haifa, is a right-wing Jewish nationalist and former tech millionaire. He takes over at the helm of an Israeli government pieced together by an eight-party coalition.
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Under a coalition agreement, Bennett will hold the office of the premier for the first two years of the term, and then Foreign Minister; Yair Lapid, the architect of the coalition, will become prime minister.
Bennett who is a former ally of Netanyahu turned rival, became prime minister after the 60-59 vote in Knesset on Sunday. He becomes the 13th person to hold the office of the Israeli prime minister.
The ousted longtime leader; Benjamin Netanyahu and the new PM; Naftali Bennett, were slated to hold a handover meeting later in the day, but without the formal ceremony that traditionally accompanies a change in government.