President Trump visits Israel in search of revived peace process

RIYADH, May 22 (Reuters) – After an exhausting two days in Saudi Arabia, U.S. President Donald Trump travels to Israel on Monday, attempting to revive the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process with visits to Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Over two days, Trump is to meet separately with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and visit holy sites. On Monday in Jerusalem, he will pray at the Western Wall and visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

RELATED: Trump arrives in Israel

Up Next

See Gallery




On his maiden foreign tour since taking office in January, Trump is already showing signs of fatigue from a packed schedule. He is on a nine-day trip through the Middle East and Europe that ends on Saturday after visits to the Vatican, Brussels and Sicily.

During a speech in Riyadh on Sunday in which he urged Arab and Islamic leaders to do their share to defeat Islamist militants, Trump referred to “Islamic extremism,” although advance excerpts had him saying “Islamist extremism.”

A White House official blamed Trump’s fatigue for the switch. “Just an exhausted guy,” she told reporters.

On Sunday night in Riyadh after a long day of events, many of them delayed, he skipped a “tweeps” forum for young people that was to be his last activity of the day, sending daughter Ivanka in his place.

Over the weekend, Trump received a warm welcome from Arab leaders, who focused on his desire to crack down on Iran’s influence in the region, a commitment they found wanting in the Republican president’s Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.

The reception marked a contrast from his difficulties at home where he is struggling to contain a mushrooming scandal after his firing of former FBI Director James Comey nearly two weeks ago.

LONG-STALLED PEACE TALKS

Trump has vowed to do whatever is necessary to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but has given little sign of how he could revive long-stalled negotiations.

When he met Abbas earlier this month in Washington, he stopped shortly of explicitly recommitting his administration to a two-state solution to the decades-old conflict, a long-standing foundation of U.S. policy. Some Palestinians said they were disappointed by the omission.

RELATED: President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

U.S. President Donald Trump, right, speaks while Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli’s prime minister, smiles during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Netanyahu is trying to recalibrate ties with Israel’s top ally after eight years of high-profile clashes with former President Barack Obama, in part over Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

(Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves the White House after a meeting with President Donald Trump in Washington, U.S., February 15, 2017.

(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during a news conference with Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli’s prime minister, not pictured, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Netanyahu is trying to recalibrate ties with Israel’s top ally after eight years of high-profile clashes with former President Barack Obama, in part over Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

(Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump (2ndR) and first lady Melania Trump meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara (L) in the Oval Office of White House in Washington, U.S., February 15, 2017.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Chief strategist to US President Donald Trump arrives for a joint press conference by Trump and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the East Room of the White House on February 15, 2017 in Washington, DC.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner (L) and his wife Ivanka Trump talk with Sara Netanyahu (front L) as she arrives for a joint press conference between U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 15, 2017.

(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli’s prime minister, speaks during a news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Netanyahu is trying to recalibrate ties with Israel’s top ally after eight years of high-profile clashes with former President Barack Obama, in part over Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

(Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves following meetings with US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, DC, February 15, 2017.

(SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump smiles outside the West Wing of the White House as Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, not pictured, departs in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Netanyahu is trying to recalibrate ties with Israel’s top ally after eight years of high-profile clashes with former President Barack Obama, in part over Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway (2nd L) listens during a joint news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the East Room of the White House February 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Trump hosted Prime Minister Netanyahu for talks for the first time since Trump took office on January 20.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer waits for the beginning of a joint news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the East Room of the White House February 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Trump hosted Prime Minister Netanyahu for talks for the first time since Trump took office on January 20.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump, right, speaks with Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Netanyahu is trying to recalibrate ties with Israel’s top ally after eight years of high-profile clashes with former President Barack Obama, in part over Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, waves while leaving the West Wing of the White House after meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Netanyahu is trying to recalibrate ties with Israel’s top ally after eight years of high-profile clashes with former President Barack Obama, in part over Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture Directort Lonnie Bunch(2ndR), talks with first Lady Melania Trump and Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as they tour the Museum along with Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton, left, on February 15, 2017, in Washington, DC.

(MOLLY RILEY/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. first lady Melania Trump and Sara Netanyahu stand together during a visit to the African American Museum of History and Culture in Washington, U.S., February 15, 2017.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

President Donald Trump addresses a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 15, 2017.

(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

Up Next

See Gallery




Trump has also opted against an immediate move of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a longtime demand of Israel.

A senior administration official told Reuters last week that Trump remained committed to his campaign pledge to ultimately relocate the embassy but did not plan to announce such a move while on his trip.

“We’re having very good discussions with all parties and as long as we see that happening, then we don’t intend to do anything that we think could upset those discussions,” the official said.

On Sunday, Israel authorized some economic concessions to the Palestinians that a Cabinet statement said “will ease daily civilian life in the Palestinian Authority after (Trump) who arrives tomorrow, asked to see some confidence building steps.”

Trump used his visit to Riyadh to bolster U.S. ties with Arab and Islamic nations, announce $110 billion in U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and send Iran a tough message.

In his speech attended by dozens of Arab and Islamic leaders, he toned down the harsh anti-Muslim rhetoric he had employed during the presidential campaign last year in favor of trying to gain cooperation against Islamist militants.

“A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists. Drive them out,” Trump said.

Trump will have visited significant homes of three major religions by his trip’s end, Islam, Judaism and Christianity, a point that his senior aides say is important in bolstering his argument that the Islamist militancy is a battle between “good and evil.”

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Jeff Mason; Additional reporting by Ori Lewis in Jerusalem; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Article source: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/05/22/president-trump-visits-israel-in-search-of-revived-peace-process/22102997/

Leave a Reply

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com
Bunk Beds