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Trump urges Israel, Arab world to start 'new partnership'

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-23 10:22

Netanyahu, whose vocal opposition to the 2015 nuclear deal put him at odds with Trump's predecessor Barack Obama, thanked Trump for his stance against Iran.

Trump, who previously suggested that it will be easier than seems to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, spoke about "rare opportunity" to bring peace to the war-torn Middle East.

His first trip abroad started with a stop in Saudi Arabia, where he urged Arab leaders to struggle against extremism. His two-day tour in Israel and the West Bank is aimed at restarting the long-stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian, which reached an impasse in 2014 over Israel's expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Israel seized East Jerusalem during the 1967 war, together with the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Shortly after the war, Israel annexed East Jerusalem.

Netanyahu warmly welcomed Trump as a "true friend" of "Israel and the Jewish people."

Wearing a yarmulke, Trump becomes the first US president to visit the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray in East Jerusalem, which Israel claims part of its "indivisible capital."

The Western Wall sparked controversy ahead of Trump's arrival when US officials declined to allow Netanyahu to join Trump's visit to the site, asserting it is not located in Israeli territory.

On Monday, the police put the alleys of the Old City under lockdown, temporarily asking an undisclosed number of Palestinian residents and shop owners to evacuate their homes and shops.

On Tuesday, Trump is expected to travel to Bethlehem to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas before coming back to Jerusalem for a speech to conclude his visit.

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