Trump heads to Israel in possible first arrival from Saudi

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

But both Netanyahu and Abbas face domestic political challenges.

Trump travelled to the Middle East to show the world American leadership has returned. He will close his ambitious first foreign trip at a pair of summits in Brussels and Sicily, where his reception from European leaders may be less effusive than his welcome in Israel and Saudi Arabia, his opening stop on the trip.

A senior US official traveling with Trump said Washington understands what he described as Israel's "completely legitimate" concerns and pledged to help the Jewish state maintain its military advantage. "You heard Trump saying this would not be helpful".

"I intend to do everything I can to help them achieve that goal", Trump said after meeting Abbas, speaking with the 50th anniversary of Israel's capture of territories that Palestinians seek for their own state approaching early next month. He also met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Although Trump was the not the first president to visit the Western Wall, he was the first sitting president to do so.

The moment was part of the opening of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology, alongside Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, according to the Saudi Press Agency. "And we are keen to keep the door open to dialogue with our Israeli neighbours", Abbas told his American counterpart, stressing, however, that the real problem was in occupation and settlements.

"I make this promise to you, my administration will always stand with Israel", Trump told Israeli ministers at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

"In this spirit of hope, we come to Bethlehem, asking God for more peaceful, safe and far more tolerant world for all of us", Mr. Trump said. As Daniel notes, the Israeli leader was referring to "what Palestinians see as a form of welfare support to families whose relatives have acted on behalf of the Palestinian cause".

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Netanyahu must deal with opposition from right-wing nationalist elements within his coalition who oppose any Palestinian state being created in occupied territory where hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers now live.

Abbas announced he is ready to be Trump's partner in securing peace in the Middle East through establishment of a Palestinian state on land captured by Israel in 1967. "Benjamin Netanyahu wants peace". "He was very moved", Rabinowitz said.

Trump also visited Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial, and left what many noted was a brief message compared to his predecessor's.

It is the first time a sitting US president has visited and prayed at the site.

He was not accompanied by any Israeli leaders during the visit.

The status of Jerusalem is ultra-sensitive and has been among the most hard issues in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, stalled since April 2014.

It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the worldwide community.

Trump and Netanyahu in particular lavished praise on each other during their multiple meetings. He travels on to Brussels in the afternoon before flying back to Italy late Thursday for a G7 summit on Friday and Saturday.

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