MIAMI (CBSMiami) — President Donald Trump arrived in Israel Monday saying he has new reasons to hope that peace and stability can be achieved in the Middle East during his first overseas trip as president.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greeted President Trump at his residence.
“Mister President, for the first time in my lifetime, I see a real hope for change,” said Netanyahu.
The leaders discussed common threats and challenges facing both nations.
“We are more than friends. We are great allies. We have so many opportunities in front of us,” said President Trump.
Earlier President Trump visited some of Jerusalem’s most sacred sites. He placed his hand on the Western Wall and put a prayer note in a crevice. He is the first sitting U.S. President to visit what is considered the holiest site in Judaism.
The President and first lady also toured the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
Israel is the second stop on the president’s 9-day trip.
During a joint statement with the Israeli President, Trump once again singled out Iran as a threat to stability in the region.
“Iran must never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon – never, ever,” said Trump.
Trump’s presence in the region is raising hopes that Israel and the Palestinians may consider resuming the peace process. The president has said the conditions are right to strike the ultimate deal.
“I’ve heard it is one of the toughest deals of all, but I have feeling we will get there eventually,” said President Trump.
Trump began his first foreign presidential trip over the weekend in Saudi Arabia where the nations announced a new $110 billion arms deal and President Trump proposed a new partnership with the Arab and Muslim world.
Speaking in the Saudi Arabian capital, the president steered clear of using the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ during the address, opting instead for a message of unity.
“America is prepared to stand with you – in pursuit of shared interests and common security,” said Trump.
During his visit, the president made no public mention of Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women and political opponents. That’s has raised concerns that he’s setting aside human rights as a principal foreign policy.
During a photo-op with the Israeli Prime Minister, President Trump said he never mentioned Israel when discussing classified information with the Russian diplomats in the Oval office.
After his stay in Israel, Trump’s trip will take him to the Vatican, Brussels, and Sicily.