Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Trump Arrives in Israel, Ready to Test Waters on Middle East Peace

Trump Arrives in Israel, Ready to Test Waters on Middle East Peace

Rouhani's comments come after U.S. President Donald Trump sealed a multibillion arms deal with Saudi officials during his maiden trip overseas as U.S. president.

Saudi King Salman on Monday described US President Donald Trump's visit to the Muslim kingdom in the Gulf as a "turning point" in relations between the two countries.

Trump's comments are also quite a departure from President Obama's 2009 Cairo speech, to which he invited members of the Muslim Brotherhood leadership against the wishes of the Egyptian government.

Not only Trump is distinctly unpopular in Canada, Team Trudeau has no recipe for dealing with a White House under siege and bent on singling out others for blame.

"In my view foreign government donations to a fund run by a reputable worldwide organization like the World Bank for a good cause are generally acceptable", Norm Eisen, who worked in the Obama administration, told the public radio network, adding, "Based on what we know, there's no reason to believe that those two things did not happen".

Trump is seeking to ease concerns that his policies won't be as beneficial to Israel as once believed. We believe you're willing.

He followed with a sobering warning: "Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory".

The White House struggled to answer the question. Yet Trump may still need to engage in some delicate diplomacy following revelations that he disclosed highly classified intelligence Israel obtained about the Islamic State group with top Russian officials, without Israel's permission. The United States responded by boosting Iran's fiercest regional rivals, notably with a $110 billion weapons package for Saudi Arabia and calls for Iran's global isolation.

Netanyahu said he hoped an Israeli prime minister could soon make the same flight. The White House-driven effort is a sharp shift from the practice of USA previous administrations that typically gave secretaries of state those reins.

Melania Trump appears to slap away president's hand in Israel
No doubt echoing the thoughts of an untold number of viewers, the newspaper tweeted the video with a single word: "Ouch". Trump's hand as he reaches to hold it while on tarmac in Israel", Niraj Warikoo of the Detroit Free Press Tweeted.

At an earlier meeting with the Israeli leader at Jerusalem's King David Hotel, Trump had lambasted the nuclear deal negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama in remarks that Netanyahu could nearly have drafted himself. He has taken a tougher line on settlements than Israeli officials had expected, urging restraint though not calling for a full halt to construction.

Trump's travels are taking him through the Middle East and Europe as he leaves the USA for the first time as president.

Palestinians, who viewed Trump's victory with some trepidation, are said to have been pleasantly surprised by Trump's openness during a recent meeting with Abbas in Washington. The official spoke on condition of anonymity pending a formal announcement and did not provide further details.

For Jews, the Western Wall, a retaining wall from the biblical Jewish Temple, is revered as the holiest site where Jews can pray. The Trump administration drew the ire of some Israelis this week when officials declined to state that the Western Wall was part of Israel, as has been US policy.

Israeli officials say they are largely in the dark about what ideas Trump might present for peace or what concessions he may demand.

G7 leaders will know that Trump and his Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross have expressed their distaste for the World Trade Organization and multilateral trade agreements, preferring to negotiate bilaterally where they can exercise their superior power.

Trump is to travel Tuesday to Bethlehem to visit with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank. "He's directly responsible for anti-Muslim, anti-Arab sentiments in the USA and yet received such a warm welcome from the leaders of Arab countries", the 31-year-old said.

Despite sharp criticism of Saudi Arabia by Trump on the campaign trail, the Saudis have been heartened by the fact that Trump has reaffirmed a decades-long strategic relationship.

At a weekend summit in Riyadh, Trump accused Iran of funding and arming "terrorists, militias and other extremist groups" in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and backing President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's civil war.

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