Published: Thu, March 08, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

US President Hosts Israeli Leader

US President Hosts Israeli Leader

President Donald Trump welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House on Monday.

In addition, Trump expressed optimism regarding the future of his efforts to bring about peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, despite the fact that his decision to transfer the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv spurred the Palestinians to assert that the US president could not be a mediator in that process.

"Under your leadership, it's never been stronger", said Netanyahu. The opening of the USA embassy is planned for May.

Trump also claimed the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem will be built very quickly and very inexpensively. "If I can, I will". Meanwhile, Netanyahu remained embroiled in controversy back home where he is facing corruption charges. Iran has not given up its nuclear ambitions.

Netanyahu said Iran was a common challenge both the USA and Israel have to deal with because the country hasn't given up its nuclear visions.

The Israeli leader also emphasized the two nations' mutual concern about Iran's activities in the region, saying that Tehran "must be stopped". "That is our common challenge", Netanyahu said.

Trump has threatened to quit the agreement unless European allies help "fix" it with a follow-up accord. The White House said in a statement that Trump "underscored his goal of countering Iran's malign influence".

"In another 60 days he has to make a decision [regarding Iran]", Netanyahu said.

According to Trump, his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital has taken that issue off the table, something that he said no one has been able to do in the last 25 years. He has accused Iran of planning to build precision-guided missile factories in Lebanon, amid tensions along that border.

The White House has said it is finalizing a peace plan for the Middle East, but while Trump himself believes there is a "very good chance" of achieving peace, the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem has already prompted the Palestinians to write Trump off as a fair broker in negotiations. US president when asked what would be if the Palestinians did not come back to the table said "if they don't come back there won't be peace."Netanyahu thanked Trump for moving the embassy saying that in the annals of Jewish history he will be remembered along with those such as Persian king Cyrus the Great, Lord Balfour from the Balfour declaration and US President Harry Truman who was the first US President to recognize Israel".

Participating in the talks was Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has been on the defensive amid investigations into alleged meddling by Russian Federation in the 2016 presidential campaign.

A USA official speaking ahead of Netanyahu's second visit to the Trump White House characterized it as a "routine check-in".

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