Israel's Netanyahu departs for U.S. trip amid corruption investigation

Randolph Lopez
March 6, 2018

President Donald Trump signaled Monday he might visit Jerusalem to mark the opening of the USA embassy there in May.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left the country Sunday for a five-day trip to the United States, which will include a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.

In the Oval Office, Netanyahu praised Trump's highly contentious decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem - which both Israel and the Palestinians claim as their capital.

Trump's decision for the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the embassy there from Tel Aviv reversed decades of USA policy, aggravated Arab allies and has complicated his administration's attempt to revive long-stalled Middle East peace talks. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said last month that the US 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.

"We are as committed to peace as ever", the official said.

Top-selling daily Yediot Aharonot said while Netanyahu was being questioned for five hours at his official Jerusalem residence, Sara was being grilled at national fraud squad headquarters near Tel Aviv.

Trump's push to change or scrap Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and concerns over Tehran's foothold in Syria topped the agenda of his talks with Netanyahu, U.S. and Israeli officials said.

A lot is on the table for the two leaders, most importantly, Iran's growing influence in the Middle East.

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"We're looking at coming". He believes Iran is cheating on the agreement, telling Trump that "Iran has not given up its nuclear ambitions".

"It's practicing aggression everywhere, including on our own borders", Netanyahu told Trump.

Both Trump and Netanyahu entered their White House meeting under heavy political pressure domestically.

"I think we have a very good chance", Trump said of finding a solution for peace between Israel and Palestine. "That is our common challenge".

A warm welcome at the White House, and a speech to a receptive audience at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee - AIPAC - conference, could distract momentarily from the graft allegations.

"If we don't come up with a strategy against Iran we're going to make Israel go to war here pretty soon with the Hezbollah elements in southern Lebanon", said Sen. If they don't you don't have peace ... and that's a possibility also.

Any hopes for a new peace process have dwindled since Trump's recognition of Jerusalem angered the Palestinians. But in at least one big way, the uncertainty and strife at the White House intersected with Netanyahu's visit: a central U.S. interlocutor on Middle East peace, senior adviser Jared Kushner, has had his access to top-secret information yanked amid a crackdown on interim security clearances. We're working on it very hard. Kostelitz said today, "I don't represent state's witnesses".

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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