US President Donald Trump has said that he was "honoured" by the invitation extended by Prime Minister Benjimin Netanyahu to visit the country before calling for a renewed peace effort between Israel and the Palestinians.
“We want Israel to have peace… and we must seize (opportunities) together and take advantage of the situation,” Trump said in a joint press conference at Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem, JPost reported.
The event marked the last of three public appearances that the President made before the media since landing at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport earlier in the day.
Trump then echoed earlier statements he made during the day concerning Iran, and the need to rein in Tehran’s spreading influence in the region.
America and Israel, along with allies in the region, need to begin “facing the threat from the Iranian regime, which is causing so much suffering in the region,” the President said.
Trump also mentioned the need to stamp out “terrorism and extremism from the Muslim world”, and aim at “eradicating the violent ideologies that have been responsible for much of the killing around the world.”
Trump made headlines in his previous press conference when he denied mentioning Israel in his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak earlier this month.
Trump reportedly shared sensitive intelligence with the Russians about the Islamic State, with speculation that the information shared came from Israeli intelligence sources.
“I never mentioned the word or the name Israel,” he said before meeting Prime Minister Netanyahu at the King David Hotel, in response to a question by a reporter. “They are all saying I did, so you have another story wrong. Never mentioned the word Israel”.
Netanyahu told reporters that “intelligence cooperation is terrific, never been better”.
Last week, according to a New York Times report, two US officials, one current and one former, said Trump shared the intelligence supplied by Israel in the fight against Islamic State with the Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting earlier this month, which the American press was barred from attending. (IANS)