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Israeli PM to Skip UN Summit after Election Setback

Israeli PM to Skip UN Summit after Election Setback

Wednesday, 18 September, 2019 - 16:00
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Reuters)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not attend this year’s United Nations General Assembly in wake of an inconclusive parliamentary election.

Initial results from Tuesday's general election show Netanyahu's Likud party tied with the Blue and White alliance of his main challenger, former army chief Benny Gantz.

According to Israeli media, with more than 90 percent of ballots counted, Netanyahu's right-wing Likud had 31 seats, while Gantz's Blue and White took 32 places in Israel's 120-member parliament.

If the results hold, it will be a major setback for Netanyahu, who hoped to form a right-wing coalition similar to his current administration as he faces possible corruption charges in the weeks ahead.

An official from Netanyahu’s office said Wednesday that the planned visit to the US next week, where he was also to meet with President Donald Trump, would not take place.

There was no word whether the meeting would be rescheduled. The official spoke on condition of anonymity pending a formal announcement, said The Associated Press.

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