Trump 'will visit Israel next month'

PRESIDENT Donald Trump is reported to be planning a visit to Israel next month.

The White House and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office are said to be in "advanced talks" over it.

If the plans go ahead, it will be Trump's first-ever visit to the Jewish state.

Israel Radio reported that a delegation from Washington was due in Jerusalem yesterday (Thursday) to prepare for the visit.

The Israeli media is saying that Trump could arrive in Jerusalem on May 21 or "shortly afterwards" - which would coincide with Israel's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The celebrations will take place on the eve of May 23 and throughout the following day.

A senior diplomatic official told Israel Radio there was an 80 per cent chance of the visit going ahead.

In the last few days, Trump has spoken warmly about the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

He said at the American Holocaust Memorial Museum's Yom Hashoah event that he "will always stand with our great friend and partner, the State of Israel".

The visit to Jerusalem would come shortly after Trump meets Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas on May 3 in Washington.

The American president hosted Netanyahu at the White House in February.

Trump's spokesman Sean Spicer said last week that the president is actively seeking "a conflict-ending settlement between the Palestinians and Israel".

Former president Barack Obama did not travel to Israel during his first four years in the White House, but did make two trips there during his second term - one of them for the funeral of Shimon Peres.

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