President Trump To Meet With Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu Monday

Posted March 06, 2018

The process has gone nowhere, however, since Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December and announcement of the coming move of the USA embassy to the city in May, shortly after Israel's 70th anniversary.

"That was a decision I had to make", Trump said in the Oval Office on Monday.

Palestinian negotiators have refused to meet with the U.S. following those pronouncements but that hasn't stopped the U.S. from moving forward with the plan.

President Trump said he is looking into attending the opening of the embassy. "If I can, I will".

Mired in corruption investigations threatening his political survival, Netanyahu - questioned at his home by police on Friday - will step into a different spotlight during his five-day USA visit.

Trump and Netanyahu were expected to discuss Iran's growing influence in Syria and the USA nuclear deal brokered by former President Obama at Monday's meeting.

Trump and Netanyahu are expected to talk about President Barack Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran, something they and many lawmakers consider a bad deal.

"If I had to say what is our greatest challenge in the Middle East to both our countries, to our Arab neighbors, it's encapsulated in one word: Iran", Netanyahu said."Iran must be stopped. That is our common challenge", said Netanyahu.

Trump has threatened to pull out of the agreement unless European allies help "fix" it with a follow-up accord.

Sources close to Nir Hefetz, a former top media adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu, who on Monday became the latest ex-associate of the prime minister to agree to testify against him, said he had decided he "wouldn't take a bullet for Netanyahu" in the Bezeq corruption probe.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office.

Several of Trump campaign aides are facing charges or have pled guilty to lying to FBI investigators.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, angered by Trump's Jerusalem move, has refused to engage with the United States on Middle East peace, prompting Trump to delay the rollout of peace proposals.

The prime minister didn't answer questions about the probe as he departed on Sunday, but said support he has received from the Israeli public has been "heartwarming".

Referring to his friend "Donald", Netanyahu poured praise on the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

But Trump conceded: "If they don't, you don't have peace, and that's a possibility also".

Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and has not been named a suspect in the case, but he was questioned by police on Friday ahead of his trip to Washington.

USA officials have told Reuters it would deal with all major issues, including Jerusalem, borders, security and the future of Israeli settlements and Palestinian refugees, and would also urge Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to provide significant financial support to the Palestinians.