The following are highlights of the statements Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump made before having dinner with their wives at the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem on Monday, May 22.
Sara and I are absolutely delighted to welcome you and Melania to the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people, the united capital of the Jewish state. …
You’ve been today, Mr. President, to the Western Wall, one of the holiest sites of Judaism. You’ve been to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, one of the holiest sites of Christianity. We protect the Christian sites as no one else does anywhere in this region. We protect Christian sites, Muslim sites, obviously Jewish sites. We’re committed to the freedom of all faiths and to the rights of all.
Mr. President, I appreciate the fact that you went to the Western Wall. … The people of Israel applaud you for it.
We had a terrific discussion today, and when I say terrific, it encompasses everything. We could talk about deregulation. We could talk about economics. I think we quote each other. We understand each other and so much of the things that we wish to accomplish for both our countries.
But I want to thank you especially today for your deep commitment to Israel’s security, its well-being and its future. I have no doubt that as we work together, you and I, the alliance between our countries will grow ever stronger.
I want you to know how much we appreciate the change in American policy on Iran which you enunciated so clearly just an hour ago. I want you to know how much we appreciate your bold decision to act against the use of chemical weapons in Syria. And I want to tell you also how much we appreciate the reassertion of American leadership in the Middle East.
I look forward to working closely with you to confront the dangers we face together in this violent and volatile Middle East. I believe that together we could roll back Iran’s march of aggression and terror in this region and we can thwart Iran’s unbridled ambition to become a nuclear weapon state.
I also look forward to working closely with you to advance peace in our region because you have noted so succinctly that common dangers are turning former enemies into partners. And that’s where we see something new and potentially something very promising.
It won’t be simple, but for the first time in many years, and, Mr. President, for the first time in my lifetime, I see a real hope for change. The Arab leaders who you met yesterday could help change the atmosphere, and they could help create the conditions for a realistic peace. These are all great signs on your historic visit.
It’s a visit that I think has echoed down the ages because the late Abraham Lincoln is reported to have said that there was no city on Earth that he so much desired to see as Jerusalem. Well. Mr. President, Donald, there is no city on Earth where you are more welcome than right here with us in Jerusalem.
This is a land filled with beauty, wonder and the spirit of G-d. I’ve been amazed by the glorious and beautiful monuments and holy sites and the generosity of your incredible people because it’s all about the people. I was deeply moved by my visit today to the Western Wall. Words fail to capture the experience. It will leave an impression on me forever.
Today we reaffirm the unbreakable bond of friendship between Israel and the United States, a friendship built on our shared love of freedom, our shared belief in human dignity and our shared hope for an Israel at lasting peace. We want Israel to have peace.
But we are more than friends. We are great allies. We have so many opportunities in front of us, but we must seize them together. We must take advantage of the situation, and there are many, many things that can happen now that would never have been able to happen before, and we understand that very well. That includes advancing prosperity, defeating the evils of terrorism, and facing the threat of an Iranian regime that is threatening the region and causing so much violence and suffering.
During my travels, I have seen many hopeful signs that lead me to believe that we can truly achieve a more peaceful future for this region and for people of all faiths and all beliefs and frankly all over the world. In my visit to Saudi Arabia, I met with many leaders of the Arab and Muslim world. …
These leaders voiced concerns we all share about ISIS, about Iran’s rising ambitions and rolling back its gains, and about the menace of extremism that has spread through too many parts of the Muslim world. I’m encouraged that they pledged cooperation to confront terrorism and the hateful ideology that drives it so hard.
America welcomes the action and support of any nation willing to do the hard but vital work in eradicating the violent ideologies that have caused so much needless bloodshed and killing here and all over the world. We are willing to work together. I believe that a new level of partnership is possible and will happen, one that will bring greater safety to this region, greater security to the United States and greater prosperity to the world.
This includes a renewed effort at peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and I thank the prime minister for his commitment to pursuing the peace process. He’s working very hard at it. It’s not easy. I’ve heard it’s one of the toughest deals of all, but I have a feeling that we’re going to get there eventually, I hope. …
People from all nations, even nations that you would be surprised to hear, they want to stop the killing. They’ve had enough. America stands ready to assist in every way we can.
Our deep and lasting friendship will only grow deeper and stronger as we work together in the days ahead.