President Donald Trump will make his first state visit to Israel later this month, the president announced on Thursday.
“My first foreign trip as president of the United States will be to Saudi Arabia, then Israel, and then to a place that my cardinals love very much, Rome,” Trump said during a meeting Thursday with religious leaders.
The president called the trip “truly historic”, and said it was aimed at combating “extremism, terrorism, and violence.”
As reports by Israeli officials last week claimed, Trump’s visit will take place just ahead of Jerusalem Day, which kicks off on the evening of May 23rd.
According to two different White House officials who spoke with Politico, the president will visit Israel during a trip to allies culminating in a NATO meeting in Belgium on May 25th, followed by a G7 summit in Sicily on the 26th.
President Trump’s visit later this month will be his second to the Jewish state, and the first in nearly 30 years.
The trip will kick off with a May 19th flight to Riyadh, followed by the president’s trip to Israel on the 22nd, and finally a visit to Rome.
On Wednesday, Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas met with President Trump in Washington, their first meeting since Trump took office in January.
Over the past week, Israeli officials have reported to local media outlets that the White House is in talks with Jerusalem for a two-day, one-night visit to the Jewish state, with the tentative date of May 22nd through the 23rd.
This Tuesday, senior Israeli officials claimed the visit was a done deal and reaffirmed that May 22nd remained the most likely date for the trip.
No official confirmation has yet been released from the Trump administration regarding the trip or any its details.