White House welcomes Netanyahu delay in judicial overhaul, urges compromise
Adds White House spokesperson comment
By Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON, March 27 (Reuters) -The United States welcomes the decision on Monday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to delay a decision on divisive plans for a judicial overhaul until next month, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said.
Netanyahu on Monday delayed a decision on bitterly contested plans for a judicial overhaul until next month amid fears that the country's worst national crisis in years could fracture his coalition or escalate into violence.
"We welcome this announcement as an opportunity to create additional time and space for compromise. A compromise is precisely what we have been calling for. And we continue to strongly urge Israeli leaders to find a compromise as soon as possible," Jean-Pierre said.
The United States remains concerned about the situation in Israel and President Joe Biden has shared his concerns about a proposed judicial overhaul directly with Netanyahu, the White House said on Monday.
"We remain concerned by the recent developments," White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters, calling for compromise.
Kirby noted that Israel had been invited to a U.S.-organized Summit for Democracy later this week.
Kirby said Biden has been "very forthright" with Netanyahu about his concerns. Asked if Biden was worried that Israel would devolve into civil war, Kirby said he was not.
He said U.S. concerns about the judicial reform legislation were that it would "fly in the face" of the principle of having checks and balances in government.
"All of that concern comes from ... a place of respect and friendship and admiration for the Israeli people, for Israel as a country and for Israel's democracy," Kirby said.
Reporting by Jeff Mason; additional reporting by Jasper Ward and Susan Heavey; Editing by Howard Goller and Tomasz Janowski
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