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Next stop for Trump is Israel, in pursuit of 'ultimate deal'

According to reports in the Israeli media, an angry Netanyahu was informed on Sunday that party heads and a number of ministers planned to skip the reception after the White House had asked for the meet and greet to be shortened to the two countries' anthems and handshakes only between Netanyahu and Trump.

He will meet Israel's Prime Minister Benjain Netanyahu later on the same day at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

Trump is expected to become the first sitting USA president to visit the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray.

I love the people of Israel, I am working very hard to finally have peace for the people of Israel and the Palestinians and hopefully that can come about much sooner than anybody has ever projected, " said US President Donald Trump ahead of his "historic" visit to Israel on Monday.

After a visit later Tuesday to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, he is due to give a speech at the Israel Museum. And I would consider it one of my crowning achievements if I can do it, " he added in an interview with daily Israel Hayom.

"But we need two willing parties", he continued.

The United States and Israel have an unshakeable alliance based on shared values and interests, and the U.S. intends to strengthen this special relationship. We believe you're willing.

For Trump and his top security aides, sealing a final deal between Israel and the Palestinians goes deep into the heart of the administration's evolving Middle East strategy.

Trump's first official trip outside the United States included a visit to Saudi Arabia, where he signed $350-billion arms deal.

"Let's see if he repeats "self-determination", said Michael Oren, a USA -born former ambassador to the United States who now serves as the deputy minister for diplomacy from the centrist Kulanu party.




Trump has handed son-in-law Jared Kushner and longtime business lawyer Jason Greenblatt the assignment of charting the course toward a peace process.

Hotovely spoke against the possibility of a two-state solution with the Palestinians, saying that there is a reason all past efforts have failed.

And earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Erdogan said it would be "extremely ill-advised" for Trump to move the embassy.

On Tuesday, Trump will visit Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank for talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

"It is something that I think is, frankly, maybe, not as hard as people have thought over the years", Trump said last month during a meeting with Abbas. He did not elaborate and it is not clear how big the plan is. The last round of talks reached an impasse on April 2014, mainly over Israel's refusal to halt the construction in the West Bank settlements. The area is home to sensitive religious sites, including the Western Wall, the holiest place where Jews can pray.

"To avoid past mistakes, we want an Israeli government that wants to sit at the table and discuss a map [showing] the borders of Palestine as well as other issues", Erekat stated.

Israeli officials say they are largely in the dark about what ideas Trump might present for peace or what concessions he may demand.

With Abbas and key Arab states on board, Trump's biggest challenge will be to convince Netanyahu to accept a resumption of serious peace talks.

Even if Mr Trump can see beyond his domestic political troubles and focus on moving peace efforts forward, he will have to overcome the constraints of both Mr Netanyahu and Mr Abbas. He also delivered a closely watched speech to the Muslim world in which he called for Middle East leaders to root out extremists at home, while casting the fight against terror as "good vs. evil" rather than the West vs. Islam.

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