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Netanyahu Ally: Romney Relationship "Exaggerated"

Erdan surprised his American audience with the comment.

Posted on April 30, 2012, at 9:53 p.m. ET

Israeli Cabinet minister Gilad Erdan last year.
Sebastian Scheiner / AP

Israeli Cabinet minister Gilad Erdan last year.

A top Israeli ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surprised a meeting in New York City today by dismissing the value of Netanyahu's relationship with Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, a member of Netanyahu's Likud Party who has been a key defender in his battles with former national security officials over Iran, was asked at meeting of the American Friends of Likud Monday morning about a New York Times article on the long friendship between the two politicians.

He responded, a source in the room said, that it was "exaggerated."

"We all know, that Bibi doesn't keep long relationships," Erdan added, to the surprise of guests.

Romney today amplified his friendship with the Israeli leader by sending out a press statement on the death of Netanyahu's father, an unusual move by an American candidate.

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