President Donald J. Trump arrived in Israel Tuesday to start the second leg of his first foreign trip abroad with a renewed for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The President was met by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“May your first trip to our region prove to be a historic milestone on the path towards reconciliation and peace,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said in a welcome speech to President Trump. “Israel’s hand is extended in peace to all our neighbors, including the Palestinians.”
Three major issues regarding U.S.-Israeli relations are the focus of the trip. In addition to resuming talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the President will look to discuss the continued Israeli settlements in the West Bank and moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“We have a rare opportunity to bring stability and peace in this region, defeat terror and create a future of peace,” President Trump said after speeches from Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu. “We can only get there by working together – there is no other way.”
President Rivlin praised the President during his speech, declaring Israel was happy “America is back,” a not so veiled reference to Barack Obama’s support for Iran, the enemy of America’s allies in the region.
Worth noting, President Trump will be the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City.
After spending two days in Riyadh, President Trump will spend 28 hours in Israel before leaving to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican, then meet with allies at a NATO summit in Brussels and the Group of 7 wealthy nations in Sicily.
Trump’s Schedule on Israel Trip
At 6 p.m., President Trump will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu at the King David Hotel, where he is staying in the rocket-resistant Presidential Suite. The meeting will be followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. with the prime minister, his wife, Sara, and first lady Melania Trump at the prime minister’s official residence.
A separate dinner for Trump’s entourage and Israeli officials, including Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, will be held at the King David Hotel at 8 p.m.
President Trump will visit the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City.
On Tuesday morning, the president is expected to travel to Bethlehem to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas where he will “urge Palestinian leaders to take productive steps toward peace,” according to the White House website.
While Palestinian officials have not released an official schedule, Trump is expected to meet with Abbas at the Bethlehem governor’s office and may visit the Church of the Nativity.
At 1 p.m., he will attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, and then Trump is scheduled to deliver a speech at the Israel Museum at 2 p.m. “celebrating the unique history of Israel and of the Jewish people,” according to the White House website.
At 4 p.m., he will take off for the third leg of his first foreign trip–Italy and the Vatican.