Trump to Meet Ambassador Friedman in Washington to Discuss Temple Mount Crisis

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President Donald Trump at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, New York July 28, 2017.
President Donald Trump at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, New York July 28, 2017.Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump will meet his Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Monday to discuss the latest events in the region, after two tense weeks of violence and protests in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Jordan

The meeting will take place at 11:30 A.M. Washington time, shortly after Trump will participate in a cabinet meeting with his new chief of staff, John Kelly

A White House official told Haaretz that "As part of a long-planned trip, Ambassador David Friedman is in D.C. this week. In addition to a variety of meetings, he will be meeting with the president, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt tomorrow to discuss the events that transpired in the region over the past two weeks where tensions have recently lowered." 

Friedman was involved in the efforts over the last two weeks to defuse the crisis over the Temple Mount security measures. 

On Friday, President Trump spoke on the phone with King Abdullah of Jordan, who thanked the president for his administration's assistance in lowering the tensions in the region. The Jordanian king also emphasized the importance of respecting the status quo on the Temple Mount. Jordan was very critical of Israel's decisions to place metal detectors and cameras at the entrances to the compound. 

Israel's security cabinet decided last week to remove the metal detectors and other security measures installed at the site in the wake of a shooting there earlier this month, which resulted in the deaths of two Border Policemen. The metal detectors have spurred a wave of protests among Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank, which have echoed across the Arab world, including in Jordan.

A diplomatic crisis also developed between Israel and Jordan last week when an Israeli embassy guard shot two people to death in Amman after one of them tried to attack him. On Thursday, Abdullah accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of exploiting the incident for political gain.

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