JERUSALEM – Israel appreciates the “reassertion of American leadership in the Middle East” as demonstrated by the change in U.S. policy on Iran since President Donald Trump took office, as well as the Trump administration’s bold moves in Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told President Donald Trump at a press conference in Jerusalem Monday.
“I want you to know how much we appreciate the change in American policy on Iran,” Netanyahu said at the Prime Minister’s Residence. “I want you to know how much we appreciate your bold decision to act against the use of chemical weapons in Syria.”
“I wanted to tell you also how much we appreciate the reassertion of American leadership in the Middle East,” he added.
Regarding Iran, Netanyahu told Trump he believed that together “we could roll back Iran’s march of aggression in the region and we can thwart Iran’s unbridled ambition to become a nuclear weapons state.”
Netanyahu also said he was looking forward to advancing the peace process, echoing Trump’s words that “common dangers are turning former enemies into partners.”
“For the first time in many years and, Mr. President, for the first time in my lifetime, I see a real hope for change,” he said, adding that the Arab and Muslim leaders Trump met with at a summit the previous day in Riyadh could help create the conditions for realistic peace.
Trump reflected Netanyahu’s words back at him, saying a “new level of partnership is possible” between Israel, the U.S. and the Arab world.
“There are many things that can happen now that could never have happened before,” Trump said. “We must seize them together. We must take advantage of the situation.”
Trump repeated his belief that together with Israel and Muslim partners such as King Salman of Saudi Arabia, the “menace of extremism that has spread in too many parts of the Muslim world” can be eradicated.
Trump said he was “deeply moved” by his visit to the Western Wall earlier in the day.
“This is a land filled with beauty, wonder and the spirit of God. I’ve been amazed by 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,” he added.