Iranian president calls US relations 'a curvy road'

25 May 2017, 01:40 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Fareed Zakaria again has glowing words for President Donald Trump's foreign policy. "We expect Iran to behave responsibly. not to support terror", said his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel.

Trump's two day visit in Israel follows two days in in Saudi Arabia, home to Islam's holiest sites, where Trump brokered the arms contract while also trying to strengthen relations with other Arab nations.

Netanyahu played down what has appeared to be a violation of an intelligence-sharing agreement with his country, saying US-Israeli intelligence cooperation is "terrific".

Having declared that finding a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict is "maybe not as hard as people have thought", President Donald Trump will make his first visit to Israel with few concrete ideas of solving a problem that has vexed presidents for decades. Yuval Steinitz, a senior Cabinet minister and Netanyahu confidant, called Saudi Arabia "a hostile country" and said the deal was "definitely something that should trouble us".

Israel was his second stop on a nine-day tour aimed to test the waters for reviving the dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Welcoming Trump, Netanyahu said, "I also look forward to working closely with you to advance peace in our region, because you have noted so succinctly that common dangers are turning former enemies into partners".

On Tuesday, Trump will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Trump, arriving from Saudi Arabia, declared he saw the possibility of new alignment of Muslim nations and Israel against a shared foe - Iran. After years of butting heads with Trump's predecessor, Netanyahu celebrated a new American president's arrival as a moment of hope in the stalled peace talks between Israel and Palestinians. He also toured the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which by Christian tradition is where Jesus was crucified and the location of his tomb.

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A White House official said the deal will work to increase Saudi Arabia's defense capabilities, bolstering equipment and services in the face of extremist terrorist groups and Iran. "The U.S. leaders should know that whenever we need a missile test because of a technical aspect, we will test". Tillerson referred to the visit as "a moment in time" and suggested that the USA would take a more active role in the future in brokering a deal if both sides make serious commitments.

Trump, whose unorthodox approach has spurred some hope on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has done no such managing of expectations.

Ultimate power in Iran rests not with the president but with the supreme leader, who is chosen by a clerical panel and has the final say over all matters of state.

Both Israel and the USA hope the visit can smooth over other recent disagreements. We believe you're willing.

"Hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons deals is something we should receive explanations about".

And Mr Trump made one symbolic gesture on Monday in bridging the gap between Israel and the Arab world. His flight on Air Force One was believed to be the first direct flight between Saudi Arabia and Israel, nations that do not have diplomatic relations. Standing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he argued he never mentioned Israel, the source of the classified intelligence, according to various officials - something he has not been accused of doing. Iranian-backed forces have been fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and support the government of President Bashar Assad in its battle against Sunni fighters in Syria.



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