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Author Topic: Trump Makes His First Official Visit to Israel  (Read 355 times)

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Offline naij

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Trump Makes His First Official Visit to Israel
« on: May 22, 2017, 06:59:34 AM »

Air Force One is scheduled to make a historic non-stop flight between Riyadh and Tel Aviv Monday.

It remained unclear hours before takeoff from Saudi Arabia if the president's plane would be permitted to fly to Israel without a "technical stop," as was mandated for the accompanying press charter which departed earlier in the morning.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is scheduled to brief reporters aboard Air Force One during the flight, according to the White House. This follows a flap on Sunday when he spoke to foreign reporters in Riyadh alongside Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. The U.S. press corps traveling with the president was not notified in advance of the news conference.

President Donald Trump is making his first stop in Israel as a president who wants to revive the effort to achieve a long-sought peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Trump's schedule includes meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Trump is due to become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Judaism's holiest site, the Western Wall.

In March, Trump said an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is "maybe not as difficult as people have thought," though he has not given any indication of how he might approach the issue differently than did previous U.S. administrations. He has tasked his son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner with leading the effort for the White House.

Trump said during his campaign for president that the best way to negotiate an agreement is taking what he called an "objective" approach to the serious and extremely emotional issues keeping both sides apart. But he has said continued Israeli settlements do not help the peace process, and has backed off his promise to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.