Trump’s Israel trip attempts to revive peace process

Following two arduous days in Saudi Arabia, U.S. President Donald Trump travels to Israel on Monday, in attempts to resuscitate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The trip includes visits to Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Trump is anticipated to meet separately with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and visit holy sites. Scheduled on Monday in Jerusalem, are stops to pray at the Western Wall and enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

This marks Trump’s first foreign tour since taking office in January. 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.

In Riyadh on Sunday Trump’s speech beseeched Arab and Islamic leaders to defeat Islamist militants.

Following a long day of events, many of them delayed, daughter Ivanka attended a “tweeps” forum for young people.

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.

PEACE TALKS

Trump has vowed to do whatever is necessary to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but much will be required in order to revive long-stalled negotiations.

After meeting with Abbas earlier this month in Washington, he stopped short of unequivocally recommitting his administration to a two-state solution to the decades-old conflict, a long-standing foundation of U.S. policy.

 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, announced a $110 billion in U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, sending Iran a tough message. The visit to Riyadh aided in bolstering U.S. ties with Arab and Islamic nations.

In his speech trying to gain cooperation against Islamist militants, Trump stated, “A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists. Drive them out.”

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

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