President Donald Trump spoke today with Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, a brief conversation that Trump described as “very nice,” and Netanyahu called “very warm.”
Netanyahu, in a statement issued by his office, said Trump had invited him to visit the White House in February, although a final date was not yet set. They discussed the Iran nuclear deal, the “peace process with the Palestinians,” and other issues,” the Israeli leader said, adding that he had “expressed his desire to work closely . . . with no daylight between the United States and Israel.”
The White House provided no initial details of the call, which was scheduled to last 30 minutes. Trump characterized it to reporters gathered to witnesses the swearing in of his new White House staff.
Speaking at that event, Trump said that he would meet soon with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, both of whom he spoke with by telephone yesterday. A Mexico meeting may come as early as the end of this month, White House officials said.
“We’re going to start renegotiating about NAFTA and immigration and security on the border,” Trump said. “Mexico has been terrific. . .I think we’re going to have a very good result.” NAFTA is the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has said is unfair to the United States; both Trudeau and Pena Nieto have said they are willing to discuss its terms.
Trump’s first face-to-face meeting with a foreign leader, however, will come Friday, when he receives British Prime Minister Theresa May at the White House.
In a statement Sunday, May’s government said the meeting would “primarily be an opportunity to get to know one another and to establish the basis for a productive working relationship.” The statement said May would also address a weekend meeting of Republican lawmakers that Trump is also scheduled to attend.
Earlier today, Netanyahu tweeted that “Stopping the Iranian threat, and the threat reflected in the bad nuclear agreement with Iran, continues to be a supreme goal of Israel.”
Netanyahu also met with his security cabinet on Sunday, telling them that he would allow continued construction of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem, according to Israeli media accounts.
On Sunday, Yerushalayim’s construction committee approved 566 housing units in East Jerusalem settlements.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Karen Deyoung