President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel will meet in Washington, D.C., on 15 February.
Trump “looks forward to discussing strategic technological military and intelligence cooperation with the prime minister,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday at the daily briefing for reporters.
”Our relationship with the only democracy in the Middle East is crucial to the security of both our nations,” Spicer said.
Netanyahu confirmed and welcomed the invitation.
“I deeply appreciate President Trump’s kind invitation to come to Washington and the warm words about Israel,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to discussing with him the areas of cooperation between us that are so vital to the security and well-being of our two countries.”
Trump and Netanyahu are expected to discuss a range of issues where Israel and the Obama administration had strong disagreement, including the Iran nuclear deal, settlements policy and moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
This weekend, Trump suggested he was less enthusiastic about moving the embassy than he was during the campaign, when he pledged to do so, or even in the days leading up to his 20 January 20 inauguration, when he repeated the pledge.
“I’m looking at it, we’re studying it, as you know we’ve discussed this before,” Trump told the Christian Broadcasting Network in an interview broadcast Saturday. “We’re studying it very long and hard. You know it’s a very big decision because every president for the last number of presidents, large number, they’ve come in and they were going to do it and then all of a sudden they decide they don’t want to get involved.”
Trump and his spokesman have said since the inauguration that they are at the early stages of deciding on when to move, but Trump’s CBN interview was the clearest sign yet he is reconsidering the idea.
“I’ve always liked the concept of doing it, I’ll tell you that. I’ll have a decision in the not-too-distant future,” Trump said. “There’s certainly a chance of it, absolutely, but we’re doing very detailed studies on that and we’ll come out very soon.”
Vice President Mike Pence, meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah in Washington, discussed the embassy issue and told the king that discussion was still in its “early stages,” Spicer said at the news briefing.
Trump’s nominated ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, one of Trump’s longtime lawyers, has said he would prefer working from Jerusalem.
Congress recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 1995, but presidents have since then exercised a waiver should the move pose a risk to national security.
Netanyahu wants to reverse the sanctions relief for nuclear rollback deal reached last year between Iran and six major powers. Trump has said it is a bad agreement but has not indicated he will pull out of it.
Last week, Netanyahu announced major building launches in the settlements and in eastern Jerusalem, shortly after the Obama administration in its final month allowed through a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning settlements.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.