Trump congratulates Netanyahu for moving towards forming government - Israeli PM tweet

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu announce Middle East peace proposal at news conference at White House in Washington

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday congratulated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for moving towards forming a government, the Israeli premier said.

"Trump called Prime Minister Netanyahu and congratulated him on the fact that he would form a government under his premiership," Netanyahu wrote on his Arabic-language Twitter account.

Netanyahu's main rival, Benny Gantz, was elected parliamentary speaker on Thursday, in a surprise manoeuvre that could herald a unity government keeping the veteran premier in power and end a year of political deadlock in the country.

During their phone call, Trump and Netanyahu also "discussed various steps that needed to be taken to deal with the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic," the tweet added.

(This story corrects presidency to premiership in second president)

(Reporting by Rami Ayyub; Editing by Alex Richardson)