Barack obama
US President Barack Obama calls Israeli Prime Minister two days after his election win and stresses his support for a two-state plan for 'a secure Israel alongside a sovereign and viable Palestine'. Getty Images

In a congratulatory call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his election win on 19 March, US President Barack Obama has reaffirmed US support for a two-state solution in the Middle East.

During the call, that was delayed by two days following Netanyahu's win, the White House said Obama backed a plan, "that results in a secure Israel alongside a sovereign and viable Palestine."

The two leaders have also agreed to work together on the "difficult path forward" to resolve the Israel-Palestine crisis, said the White House.

Netanyahu had previously ruled out a Palestinian state in his pre-poll comments and pledged to continue building settlements on the occupied territories.

"I think anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state and to evacuate territory, is giving radical Islam a staging ground against the State of Israel," Netanyahu had told NRG website.

He changed course on 19 March, denying abandoning his support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine crisis.

"I haven't changed my policy ... calling for a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state," said Netanyahu in an interview with MSNBC.

"I don't want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution. But for that circumstances have to change. So we need the conditions of recognition of a Jewish state and real security in order to have a realistic two-state solution.

"To make it achievable, then you have to have real negotiations with people who are committed to peace. We are. It's time that we saw the pressure on the Palestinians to show that they are committed, too."

The White House however, remained critical, with spokesman Josh Earnest signalling the Obama administration's potential review of its Middle East diplomatic strategy.

"He [Netanyahu] walked back from commitments that Israel had previously made to a two-state solution," Earnest told reporters. "It is cause for the United States to evaluate what our path is forward."

Meanwhile, Earnest pledged to continue US commitment to military and intelligence co-operation with Israel, reported Sky News.

Earnest did clarify, however, that US defending Israel at the United Nations is dependent on the two-state plan.