Israel's Netanyahu visits Trump at White House

Israel's Netanyahu visits Trump at White House

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

A former aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a top businessman were released and put under house arrest on Sunday after 14 days in custody over suspicions of fraud involving the premier, police said.

"This will be remembered by our people through the ages", Netanyahu said regarding the embassy decision during brief remarks in the Oval Office.

Asked if he would take part in the planned ceremony, which will coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel's declaration of independence, Trump said "I may, we'll be talking about that". State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said last month that the USA ambassador and a small staff will begin working at the temporary embassy this spring, with plans for a new embassy facility to open on the compound by the end of next year.

"I think they are partners in ideology, and the ideology is a populist, conservative ideology which says that the old liberal elites are against us", said Gayil Talshir, a political scientist at Jerusalem's Hebrew University. "Under your leadership, it's never been stronger", said Netanyahu.

Ahead of their talks, U.S. and Israeli officials said Iran would be the main subject of discussion between the two leaders.

In addition to discussing the embassy move, the two were expected to discuss ongoing Middle East peace negotiations and the United States' nuclear deal with Iran.

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Trump said he believed the Palestinians are "wanting to come back to the table very badly" - but did not expand on that claim.

"We will discuss Iranian aggression in our region in general and especially with regard to the Iranian nuclear program". And I think we have to stop this country that chants, 'Death to Israel, death to America.' Iran must be stopped. "That is our common challenge".

On Friday, Netanyahu and his wife were questioned for the first time in the "case 4000". "Is that good?" Trump said.

But even with an embrace from Trump, and an expected warm welcome at the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC's annual conference on Tuesday, Netanyahu will have a hard time escaping the growing scandals back home.

The Palestinians, meanwhile, said Trump's decision on Jerusalem renders the United States an unreliable actor in peace talks. If they don't you don't have peace ... and that's a possibility also.

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.

"On behalf of all Israeli citizens, as I understand it, I am heading out to pursue three goals: security, peace and economic prosperity for our nation", Netanyahu said.

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