(JNS.org) President Donald Trump invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit Washington, D.C., next month as part of their first official conversation since Trump was sworn in last Friday.
The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that “President Trump invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to come to Washington to meet him in February. A final date for the visit will be set in the days ahead.”
The two leaders had a “very warm conversation” and Netanyahu “expressed his desire to work closely with President Trump to forge a common vision and advance peace and security in the region, with no daylight between the United States and Israel,” according to the statement, which added that the leaders “discussed the nuclear deal with Iran, the peace process with the Palestinians and other issues.”
In a White House statement, Trump described his phone conversation with Netanyahu as “very nice” and stressed his “unprecedented commitment” to Israel’s security.
“The president and the prime minister agreed to continue to closely consult on a range of regional issues, including addressing the threats posed by Iran,” the White House said.
Additionally, the Trump administration said it believes “peace between Israel and the Palestinians can only be negotiated directly between the two parties….The United States will work closely with Israel to make progress toward that goal.”
While the White House statement did not make any mention of moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Sunday that “we are at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject.”
At the same time, Trump’s pick for U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, who has yet to be confirmed by the Senate, announced that he intends to live in Jerusalem rather than the American ambassador’s traditional residence in Herzliya.