Trump on Israeli-Palestinian Peace: 'You Would Love to See That, Wouldn't You?'

'Great feeling for peace throughout the Middle East,' says the U.S. president at a meeting with his Israeli counterpart

US President Donald Trump, left, meets with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Monday, May 22, 2017, in Jerusalem. Trump opened his first visit to Israel Monday, a two-day stop aimed at testing the waters for jumpstarting the dormant Middle East peace process. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

An hour after landing at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump arrived for a meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem. Trump opened the conversation by saying that Israel has a "great opportunity" to reach peace at this moment because of the common interests it shared with the Arab world. 

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Trump told Rivlin that "what's happened with Iran has brought many other parts of the Middle East toward Israel." Rivlin said that the situation is an example of how "every challenge creates opportunities."

"It's a challenge and an opportunity," Trump replied. "You have a great opportunity right now. Great feeling for peace throughout the Middle East. People have had enough of the bloodshed and the killing. I think we're going to start see things starting to happen."  

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Trump also talked about his longtime trusted attorney, Jason Greenblatt, who is now his special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process: "He left a very, very, very substantial job to be able to help on a peace treaty. You would love to see that, wouldn't you?" 

Trump then moved on to discuss David Friedman, his ambassador to Israel, who presented his credentials to Rivlin last week. He told the Israeli president that Friedman was "one of the most successful lawyers in the United States," but is "now the ambassador to Israel, as you know." Both Greenblatt and Friedman were in the room when Trump made the remarks.

Rivlin ended the open part of the discussion by saying that Israel has been praying for peace for over a hundred years.