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Israel's Netanyahu to invite Trump to open Jerusalem embassy in May

06 March 2018

The news cast a shadow over talks that Netanyahu, the dominant Israeli politician of his generation, was due to hold later in the day with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington.

Trump, with Netanyahu at his side in the Oval Office, said he was considering making what would be his second visit to Jerusalem as president.

Despite fierce worldwide opposition, Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December and announced the USA embassy would move to the city in May, shortly after Israel's 70th anniversary.

At the same time, the meeting comes just after the United States announced it will open its embassy in Jerusalem in May to coincide with Israel's 70th anniversary celebrations. "The Palestinians I think are wanting to come back to the table very badly". "This is a great gift to our nation", Netanyahu said.

Mr Trump's push to change or scrap Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and concerns over Tehran's foothold in Syria topped the agenda of his talks with Mr Netanyahu, US and Israeli officials said.

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The embattled USA president warmly welcomed the embattled Israeli prime minister, claiming ties between their two countries had "never been better" as he floated a May trip that would be a major security and diplomatic challenge.

Pressed further on whether he would travel to the opening, Trump reiterated: "We're looking at coming".

"I'm hoping that the Trump administration, who has been a great ally of Israel, has unleashed our military against ISIL, will look longer and harder in cooperation with the worldwide community to stop what I think is a unsafe advancement by Iran throughout the region", said Graham. "Iran has not given up its nuclear ambitions". It's practicing aggression everywhere, including on our own borders.

Both Trump and Netanyahu entered their White House meeting under heavy political pressure domestically. "That is our common challenge", said Netanyahu. "Is that good?" Trump said.

A warm welcome at the White House, and a speech to a receptive audience at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee - AIPAC - conference, could distract momentarily from the graft allegations.

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Any hopes for a new peace process have dwindled since Trump's recognition of Jerusalem angered the Palestinians.

U.S. officials have told Reuters it would deal with all major issues, including Jerusalem, borders, security and the future of Israeli settlements and Palestinian refugees, and would also urge Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to provide significant financial support to the Palestinians.

Trump also said his administration is working "very hard" on a peace deal, but acknowledged potential problems. I said, 'A billion?

Trump suggested that the Palestinians are eager to return to negotiations and said if they do not,"you don't have peace".

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Israel's Netanyahu to invite Trump to open Jerusalem embassy in May