Trump says he 'may' attend Jerusalem embassy opening

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE said Monday he may travel to Israel in May to attend the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

"We're looking at coming. If I can, I will,” Trump said during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House.

The president said the U.S. will have the embassy “built very quickly." 


Trump’s decision last year to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital pleased Netanyahu’s government, and the president’s attendance at the embassy opening would be a significant gesture.

"The relationship has never been better," Trump said of U.S.-Israeli relations, calling the embassy move "something that's very much appreciated in Israel."

There has been little progress, however, on a broader peace deal with the Palestinians, who were dismayed with Trump's decision to move the embassy.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said he will not accept a peace agreement brokered by Trump.

Trump and Netanyahu were expected to discuss Iran's growing influence in Syria and the U.S. nuclear deal brokered by former President Obama at Monday's meeting. 

"Iran must be stopped. That is our common challenge," Netanyahu said.

The meeting takes place at a challenging time for Trump and Netanyahu.

The Israeli leader's political standing at home has been weakened by a mounting corruption investigation, and Trump is struggling under the weight of the special counsel's probe into Russian election interference in 2016.