World Middle East 23 May 2017 Don’t let Iran ...

Don’t let Iran get nukes, says Donald Trump

Published May 23, 2017, 12:40 am IST
Updated May 23, 2017, 12:45 am IST
Donald Trump (Photo: AP)
 Donald Trump (Photo: AP)

 US President Donald Trump travelled to Jerusalem on Monday to seek ways to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace, but also used the visit to again lash out at Iran.

Mr Trump’s visit is part of his first trip abroad as President and follows an initial stop in Saudi Arabia, where he urged Islamic leaders to confront extremism while also criticising Iran.

He expressed his hope for cooperation among US allies in the Middle East. Mr Trump, who had previously suggested that it would be easier than anticipated to solve the conflict that has vexed his predecessors for decades, said that conditions were right in both Israel and the Arab world to strike what he has called “the ultimate deal.” “We have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and to its people,” he said upon his arrival in Tel Aviv.

He later travelled by helicopter to Jerusalem and, in remarks at Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s residence, launched his latest salvo against Iran. “The United States and Israel can declare with one voice that Iran must never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon — never ever — and must cease its deadly funding, training and equipping of terrorists and militias,” Mr Trump said.

Mr Trump became the first sitting US president on Monday to visit the Western Wall in the disputed city of Jerusalem, placing his hand on one of the most sacred sites in Judaism. The Western Wall is the holiest site where Jews can pray.

Mr Trump, wearing a black skullcap, paused in front of it, then placed what appeared to be a written prayer or note between its stones, as is custom. He called it a “great honour” to be the first sitting President to visit the holy site.

He was not accompanied by any Israeli leaders during the hugely symbolic visit. Allowing them to do so could have led to accusations that Washington was implicitly recognising Israel’s unilateral claim of sovereignty over the site, which would break with years of US and international precedent.

Many firsts for Trump

  • Donald Trump on Monday became the first sitting US president to visit the Western Wall in the disputed city of Jerusalem, placing his hand on one of the most sacred sites in Judaism.  
  •  He was said to have blazed a new trail between the Arab world and Israel, with his plane believed to be the first to fly directly from Saudi Arabia to the Jewish state. He left Riyadh for Tel Aviv ahead of talks with the Israeli Prime Minister.



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