President Donald Trump’s Air Force One arrived in Tel Aviv on Monday on the second stop of his first trip as a president to the Middle East, looking forward to pushing forward peace between Israelis and Palestinians although they have a “rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region.”
The visit features private conversations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu followed by visits to a wreath-laying at the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem and a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
The U.S. was welcomed by Prime Minister Netanyahu, his wife Sarah Netanyahu, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nehama Rivlin at 12:00 as soon as the president arrived in Tel Aviv.
“On my first trip overseas as president, I have come to the sacred and ancient land to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between the United States and the state of Israel,” President Trump noted at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.
“We have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and to its people, defeating terrorism and creating a future of harmony, prosperity and peace. But we can only get there working together.”
Noticeably, Trump is the first U.S. president to set off to the Western Wall, a move which was well-received and welcomed by Israeli officials. However, a junior U.S. official made a reference to the fact that Western Wall which is branded ‘holy site’ by Jews is, in fact, a part of the West Bank; such reference hit officials like ton of bricks.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer commented on the reference as it does not mirror the American policy which apprehends and respect the value of the wall to the Jewish community, declaring “the Western Wall is obviously one of the holiest sites in the Jewish faith.”
Trip To Saudi Arabia
During Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, he sought to sign a $110 billion arms deal; on the other hand, according to a senior White House official, Trump is visiting Tel Aviv to promote peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
The president is set to conduct solo meetings with Abbas and Netanyahu, according to a senior White House official; however, he is looking forward to holding a joint meeting with both leaders to promote for a détente.
“We’re not here to force people to do things one way or the other with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the senior White House official said.