White House announces Trump visit to Israel on first trip abroad

The White House officially announced that Trump will visit Israel during his first trip abroad as US president.

Israel will be one of Donald Trump’s first destinations overseas as US president, the White House revealed on Thursday.

“My first foreign trip as president of the United States will be to Saudi Arabia, then Israel, and then to a place that my cardinals love very much, Rome,” Trump said.

In a statement, the White House noted that the president “accepted the invitation of President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit Israel, where he will further strengthen the United States-Israel partnership.”

“The leaders will discuss a range of regional issues, including the need to counter the threats posed by Iran and its proxies, and by ISIS and other terrorist groups,” the statement continued. “They will also discuss ways to advance a genuine and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.”

As part of his stopover in Israel expected around May 22, Trump accepted an invitation by Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to visit the PA-controlled city of Bethlehem, located south of Jerusalem.

“President Trump has also accepted the invitation of President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority to meet with him to discuss ways to advance peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, as well as efforts to unlock the potential of the Palestinian economy,” the statement added.

Before landing in Israel, Trump will visit Saudi Arabia “to reaffirm the strong partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia and allow the leaders to discuss issues of regional concern.”

From Israel, Trump will head to Italy to meet with Pope Francis and Italian President Mattarella, followed by a NATO summit in Brussels and then back to Italy for a G7 meeting in Sicily.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News