Report: President Trump Set to Visit Israel in May

YERUSHALAYIM -
President Donald Trump (R) laughs with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at a joint news conference at the White House in Washington, February 15. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

U.S. President Donald Trump is set to visit Israel next month, Israeli media reports said Wednesday. The reports quoted Foreign Ministry officials who said they were working with the State Department to set up the visit. Accompanying Trump on the visit will be Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

The visit will come either before or after the President attends a NATO summit in Brussels at the end of May and a second meeting of world leaders in Italy. If he comes before the European meetings, Israel will have the distinction of the first foreign destination Trump will have visited as President – and he will be arriving in time for Jerusalem Reunification Day, which commemorates the day in the 1967 Six Day War that the IDF liberated Yerushalayim from Jordanian occupation. This year marks the 50th year since that liberation, giving Jerusalem Day a special significance.

With that, a final date has not been set for the visit, and several details needed to be worked out. But Foreign Ministry officials said that there was a “strong interest” on the part of the Americans to visit Israel in the near future. Officials added that Trump’s visit could be connected to a Middle East peace effort he is considering undertaking. The visit will come after the President meets with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas, after he had already met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Egyptian leader al-Sisi and Jordanian King Abdullah.