Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump spoke publicly last night before an official dinner in honor of the US visitors at the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem. Netanyahu said that, following President Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia, he saw an opportunity for change.
Trump said that Israel and the US were "more than friends, we're allies" and that "there are many things that can happen now that could never have happened before.” He said that it was possible to achieve peace in the region, and that the Arab leaders he had met had shared their concerns about Iran's ambitions. “Their feeling towards Israel is really very positive,” the president said, adding, "I could see a much deeper path to friendship with Israel, and a lot of it’s spurred on by what’s happening with Iran." On a possible peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, Trump said that it was the toughest deal in the world, but that an agreement could be reached. “I’ve heard its one of the toughest deals of all. But I have a feeling we will get there eventually, I hope,” he said.
For his part, Netanyahu said, "For the first time in many years, and Mr. President, for the first time in my lifetime, I see a real hope for change.” Netanyahu thanked President Trump for being the first sitting US president o visit the Western Wall, which Trump did yesterday accompanied by his wife Melania and his daughter Ivanka.
Today, President Trump is due to meet Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, and later to make a speech at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Palestinian Authority officials have called Israeli economic concessions announced on the eve of president Trump's visit inadequate.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 23, 2017
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