WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump is holding private meetings with world and business leaders ahead of his address Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Trump said he arrived at the summit with a message in mind.
“Peace and prosperity,” said Trump.
The president met privately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and British Prime Minister Teresa May.
During a photo op, the President downplayed division with May and promised to work together on economic development.
“The discussion that will be taking place is going to lead to tremendous increases in trade between our two countries,” he said.
The President also sounded optimistic about achieving peace in the Middle East.
“We have a proposal for peace. It’s a great proposal for the Palestinians, I think it’s a very good proposal for Israel,” he said.
Trump’s meeting with Netanyahu was his first one since he declared that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a decision that has strained U.S. ties with some Arab leaders.
Trump plans to push his “America First” agenda at the summit in hopes of persuading foreign investors that the U.S. is open for business. But some critics consider the president’s trade views to be protectionist and said protectionism could harm the global economy.
Leaders from Germany, India, and Italy are among those urging against such policies.
“We need free trade, free market, and not protectionism,” said Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.
The President is expected to meet with European CEOs and urge them to invest in America in light of the recent tax cuts and deregulation.
On Friday, Trump will deliver the keynote address to the conference.
The president arrived in Davos with two lingering issues concerning him back home – immigration and the Russia investigation. At the same pre-flight impromptu press conference with reporters, Trump said he looks forward to being interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
“Oh I would do it under oath, absolutely,” he said.
Trump also spoke on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). When asked about a path towards citizenship for immigrants brought here illegally as children, Trump replies, “It’s going to happen at some point in the future over a period of 10 to 12 years.”