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We have a ‘rare opportunity’ to bring peace to the Middle East: Trump

Justina Crabtree
Trump: Bond between US and Israel is unbreakable

President Donald Trump spoke of the potential to broker peace in the Middle East on the second stop of his first foreign visit.

In an address just after Air Force One landed in Tel Aviv, Israel, Trump described a "rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and to its people." He expressed his wish to "reaffirm the unbreakable bond between the United States and the State of Israel."

Trump pledged to fight the "evil ideology" of terrorism and "create a future of harmony, prosperity and peace."

Trump's two-day visit to Israel will include separate meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Trump also plans to visit the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem and the Western Wall, an important key Jewish holy site.

White House aides have played down expectations for significant progress on the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians during Trump's stop, casting it as more symbolic than substantive.

Speaking just before Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that, "the peace we seek (in the Middle East) is a genuine one." Referring to Trump's journey from the first stop of his overseas tour, Saudi Arabia, Netanyahu added that, "I hope that one day an Israeli prime minister will be able to fly from Tel Aviv to Riyadh."

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said that the "Middle East needs a strong United States."

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