The President met with Likud leader after receiving official election results, but not before apparent criticism of Netanyahu's comments against Arab voters.

The President met with Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been given a two-week extension to form a new governing coalition following his election victory last month.

He told Israeli President Reuven Rivlin that he has made progress in negotiations with potential partners but needs more time to form a stable coalition.

Mr Netanyahu has held weeks of negotiations with his nationalist, religious and ultra-Orthodox Jewish allies.

He looks close to finalising deals with two ultra-Orthodox parties and the centrist, economics-focused Kulanu party. But large gaps remain with two nationalist parties led by long-time Netanyahu associates.

President Rivlin granted Mr Netanyahu the extension today. Under Israeli election rules, if Mr Netanyahu fails to form a coalition after that time, Mr Rivlin can task someone else to do so.