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Trump hails "unbreakable" bond between US and Israel

Trump received a warm welcome in Tel Aviv [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 May, 2017

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Trump flew in to Tel Aviv from Saudi Arabia on Monday, after receiving a lavish welcome from the Saudi royal family, and received a similarly warm welcome in Tel Aviv

US President Donald Trump hailed US-Israeli relations as "unbreakable" during his first visit presidential to Israel Monday.

Donald Trump flew in to Israel from Saudi Arabia on Monday, after receiving a lavish welcome from the kingdom's royal family, and received a similarly warm welcome in Tel Aviv.

In brief remarks during an airport ceremony, the president said he had come "to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between the United States and the state of Israel" and that his visit with Arab leaders gave him "new hope" for peace in the region.

"We have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and to its people," Trump said.

Trump received a warm welcome in Tel Aviv after becoming the first US president to include Israel on his maiden overseas trip.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Trump "a true friend" to Israel and sounded hopeful notes about the president's role in the Middle East peace process.

On Tuesday, Trump is expected to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

After hosting Abbas at the White House in March, Trump boldly stated that achieving peace is "something that I think is, frankly, maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years."

Read also: Tweet deleted: Even Trump is 'embarrassed' by Mahmoud Abbas

Trump originally planned to be escorted into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in occupied East Jerusalem's Old City by a Palestinian Christian scout group, as per the request of his office.

However, the group were forced to cancel their performance when releasing a statement that Israeli police have to ban the scouts from entering the church, as long as wore Palestinian flags on their uniforms.

Meanwhile, The United States' new ambassador to Israel is thought to have broken protocol within his first month in office by becoming the first US ambassador to attend Israel's Jerusalem Day celebrations.

Ambassador David Friedman is the first US representative to hold an office in Jerusalem and is personally an open supporter of Israel's claim to Jerusalem as its capital city.

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