See the Highlights of President Trump's First Trip Abroad

Trump in Israel says he has new reasons to hope for Middle East peace Posted

Trump in Israel says he has new reasons to hope for Middle East peace Posted

This is not the first stop of Trump's trip to the Middle East to inspire mockery on Twitter. Wearing a black skull cap, he became the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, the most holy site at which Jews can pray. "It was a awful, bad thing for the United States to enter that deal, and believe me, Iran will never have a nuclear weapon, that I can tell you", Trump said.

"The Trump administration is focused on materially enhancing the quality of life and the economy for the Palestinians", said Michael Oren, a parliament member and former Israeli ambassador to the United States, who now serves as an adviser at the prime minister's office.

He was not accompanied by any Israeli leaders during the hugely symbolic visit.

He is under pressure after declaring in March that a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is "maybe not as hard as people have thought".

In his own brief remarks Monday, Netanyahu said Israel shared Trump's commitment to peace as outlined in the president's address to the Arab leaders.

Trump kept up his tough talk about Iran that began during his visit to Saudi Arabia over the weekend.

"I also look forward to working closely with you to advance peace in our region, because you have noted so succinctly that common dangers are turning former enemies into partners", Netanyahu said.

Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-majority countries in the Middle East have grown closer to Israel behind the scenes in recent years, united by an equally wary perception of Iran due to its nuclear ambitions and destabilizing actions in the region.

Still, Mitchell stressed that the challenges in Israel and the Palestinian territories remain just as stiff as ever as Trump joins the long list of USA presidents who have tried to broker Middle East peace. Palestinian groups across the political spectrum, including members of Abbas's Fatah party, have called for a "Day of Rage" in support of the hunger strikers, but Palestinian security officers will be out in force to make sure the president isn't harmed, Mr Abbas's office said.

It's important to point out that although Trump today claimed "the story" was "wrong", the White House has never officially denied The Post reporting of May 15, that Trump had divulged classified information to the Russians that had been obtained from the intelligence services of a US ally.

Anthony Cordesman, a Middle East expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, echoed that assessment.

Mr Trump heads next to the Vatican, where he will meet with the Pope.

Israeli media reported, citing an unnamed senior government official, that the prime minister got very angry at the meeting when he learned that so few government ministers had chose to come. The prime minister insisted: "Intelligence cooperation is terrific". And he'll probably talk about the ultimate peace deal he wants to achieve.

In some ways, Trump is approaching the issue differently.

In Monday's public appearance of Trump with Netanyahu, the Israeli leader showed no signs he was upset about Trump's disclosure of intelligence.

But Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sought to tamp down expectations of major progress on a peace deal.

The status of Jerusalem is ultra-sensitive and has been among the most hard issues in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, stalled since April 2014.

"I have a very good brain". "I can live with either one".

So far, the president has also refrained from veering off script - another habit of the campaign trail.

Trump has also opted against an immediate move of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a longtime demand of Israel. But as Anne Applebaum points out, Saudi Arabia, which is ruled by a repressive regime that itself enforces one type of religious extremism, is an odd place to deliver such a message.

During their walk from the plane, TV cameras caught a moment when it appeared Melania Trump was not happy, seeming to brush off the President's hand.

Security was tight for Trump's journey to Bethlehem, a 20-minute drive from Jerusalem but located across Israel's separation wall.

Greenblatt has sought input from a range of experts and former U.S. officials involved in the peace process, but administration officials insist the officials leading the peace process will bring fresh thinking.

The White House said the visit was unofficial and private. I think a lot of that progress has been made because of the aggression of Iran.

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