Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon (Yisrael Beytenu) said Wednesday that Israel has no preference in the outcome of the forthcoming US election.

In an interview with Israel Radio, Ayalon said Israel simply wants what’s best for the United States.

“The best president for Israel is the best president for the US,” Ayalon said. It is the right and duty of Americans to decide for themselves who would lead them, he went on.

Ayalon, who served as Israel’s ambassador to the United States from 2002-2006, said that if it appeared that Israel was taking sides in the election then it must work to correct that perception.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been accused of leaning toward Republican candidate Mitt Romney and, in subtle ways, trying to aid his campaign for the White House. Netanyahu was quoted and his image used in Romney television campaign ads that aired in areas heavily populated by Jews, furthering the impression that he favors the Republican candidate.

Netanyahu’s relationship with President Barack Obama has been strained throughout their terms of office, with tensions rising over disagreements on Israel’s settlement construction and approaches on setting red lines for Iran’s nuclear developments.

The prime minister enjoys a better personal relationship with Romney, whom he worked alongside at a Boston investment firm in the 1970s.