Netanyahu hopes Trump visit will be 'historic milestone' for peace

Netanyahu hopes Trump visit will be 'historic milestone' for peace
© Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday expressed hope that President Trump's visit to Israel would be a "historic milestone" for peace.

"Your visit here, Mr. President, is truly historic," Netanyahu said in a welcome speech to Trump in Tel Aviv.

"Never before has the first foreign trip of a president of the United States included a visit to Israel."

Netanyahu continued to thank Trump for the "powerful expression of your friendship to Israel."


He also commended the president for Trump's speech on Sunday in Saudi Arabia, where he called for Muslim nations to form a new coalition to defeat extremism.

"Israel also shares the commitment to peace that you expressed yesterday," Netanyahu said on Monday. "The peace we seek is a genuine and durable one in which the Jewish state is recognized, security remains in Israel's hands and the conflict ends once and for all."

Netanyahu said he hopes one day an Israeli prime minister will be able to fly from Tel Aviv to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's capital. Trump's flight aboard Air Force One went directly from Riyadh to Tel Aviv, a first for a U.S. president since Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have diplomatic relations.

"May your first trip to our region prove to be a historic milestone on the path towards reconciliation and peace," Netanyahu said.

"I look forward to working with you in the years ahead, Mr. President, to advance security, prosperity and peace."

He also said he's confident the alliance between Israel and the U.S. will become greater and stronger under Trump's leadership.

Trump on Monday landed in Israel, the second stop of his foreign trip.