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Israel's Netanyahu cancels UN visit after poor election results

Benjamin Netanyahu has cancelled his planned visit to the United Nations General Assembly [AFP]

Date of publication: 18 September, 2019

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cancelled his visit to the UN General Assembly next week, due to poor election results.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cancelled his planned visit to the United Nations General Assembly next week due to the "political context in the country", Israeli media reported on Wednesday.

The trip's cancellation comes just hours after Israel's national elections, in which Netanyahu failed to secure an outright victory in the polls, paving the way for arduous coalition talks.

An official in Netanyahu's office said the Israeli leader will not be attending this year's United Nations General Assembly in New York, an event he ordinarily uses to advance Israeli interests on the world stage.

The official said that the planned visit to the US next week, where he was also to meet with President Donald Trump, would not take place.

According to the UN schedule, Netanyahu was expected to address the assembly on 26 September, which falls on the third and final day of speeches by world leaders.

It is expected that Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz will attend and speak on his behalf, according to Israeli media.

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.

The official election results are to be handed next Wednesday to President Reuven Rivlin, who then must pick one of the candidates to form a government.

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