TEL AVIV, Israel (Kurdistan24) – United States President Donald Trump on Sunday said he aims to strengthen bilateral relations between the US and Israel during his first visit as president.
Trump is expected to sit down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 22.
“I am honored to accept the invitation of Prime Minister [Netanyahu] for my first visit to Israel as president,” he said.
“We will emphasize the need to further strengthen the US-Israeli partnership, which has been a great success for many years,” Trump continued.
The US President's will initially stop in Israel as part of his first overseas trip since his appointment in January.
The visit also signifies the new US administration’s desire to “assume a more active and assertive role” in the Middle East.
“We will discuss a range of regional issues of mutual concern,” Trump said of his upcoming meeting with PM Netanyahu.
The President mentioned these issues included “the need to counter the threat posed by Iran and its proxies,” as well as the threat of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria.
Additionally, Trump revealed the two leaders would address the Palestinian issue during his “productive” visit.
“We will also discuss ways to advance a genuine and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians,” he stated.
Some Israeli officials are optimistic the anticipated May 22 meeting will lead to renewed negotiations between Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
“The American president would like to explore the possible ways to revive the peace process with the Palestinians,” Israeli PM Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu also expressed his willingness to initiate a dialogue with the Palestinian leader, stating he shared the same “desire” as Trump regarding peace in the region.
Editing by G. H. Renaud