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In Israel: Donald Trump says he has new reasons to hope for Middle East peace

In Israel: Donald Trump says he has new reasons to hope for Middle East peace
US President Donald Trump said in Israel on Monday he came away from a weekend visit to Saudi Arabia with new reasons for hope that peace and stability could be achieved in the Middle East.

On the second leg of his first overseas trip since entering office, Trump is to hold talks separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a stopover lasting 28 hours.

Later on Monday, the US leader will pray at Judaism's Western Wall and visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and on Tuesday he will travel to Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

"During my travels in recent days, I have found new reasons for hope," Trump said in a brief speech on arrival.

"We have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and its people, defeating terrorism and creating a future of harmony, prosperity and peace, but we can only get there working together. There is no other way," he said.

Trump also denounced Iran for supporting "terrorists" and vowed never to allow Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons.

"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," Trump said in remarks at Rivlin's residence.

"It must cease immediately," he said, referring to Iran's alleged involvement in arming and training militias.

During his stay in Saudi Arabia, Trump had accused Iran of fuelling "the fires of sectarian conflict and terror" in the region and called for its international isolation.

"On my first trip overseas as President, I have come to this sacred and ancient land to reaffirm unbreakable bond between us and Israel," Trump said during a welcome ceremony at the airport.

Trump's Saudi summit was 'show with no value', says Rouhani

Iran's newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani today dismissed his US counterpart Donald Trump's summit with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia this weekend as "just a show". "The gathering in Saudi Arabia was just a show with no practical or political value of any kind," Rouhani said at a press conference. In a jibe at the billion-dollar deals signed between Trump and the Saudi government, Rouhani said: "You can't solve terrorism just by giving your people's money to a superpower." He said Friday's election in Iran that saw Rouhani convincingly defeat hardline challenger Raisi had been a message to the world that Tehran was ready for engagement.
Agencies

Agencies

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