24 May 2017

President Trump in the Holy Land: hope for the peace process

The second leg of the first trip of US President Donald Trump abroad concluded in Israel on May 23. On the agenda: meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem; with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem and a visit to different holy places.

Actuality and events

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The second leg of US Donald Trump's first foreign trip concluded in Israel on May 23, with an exceptional direct flight heading from Riyadh to Tel Aviv. On the agenda: meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem and a visit to some holy places.

"During this trip, I found new reasons for hope”, Trump said in a brief speech after landing. "We have a rare opportunity to bring stability and peace to the region."

Trump was welcomed at the Ben Gurion airport by Israeli President Rivlin, Prime Minister Netanyahu and civil and religious authorities.

From the airport to Jerusalem, then the visit to the holy places.

Father Francesco Patton, Theophilus III, Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church and Father Samuel Aghoyan, Representative of Armenian Patriarch Nurhan Manougian, welcomed President Trump in the square facing the Holy Sepulcher, the most sacred place for Christians.

Fr. FRANCESCO PATTON, ofm
Custos of the Holy Land
"There was not much time to talk, however, we emphasized the fact that we pray for peace and pray for him to also be able to contribute to this path and to this peace process."

"We emphasized the fact that we are a minority, but a significant presence. Certainly we are a minority, but we also know that the Holy Land is important to more than a billion Christians living in other parts of the world."

From the Holy Sepulcher to the Wailing Wall, becoming the first US president to visit the most sacred place for Judaism.

As planned, the US president also went to Bethlehem in the West Bank to meet with Abu Mazen, and he promised that he will spare no effort to help restore peace with Israel. The Palestinian president called the mission “noble and achievable”. he commented.

After meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, Trump went to Yad Vashemn, the Shoah Memorial in Jerusalem, and , with his wife Melania, placed a wreath of flowers on the tombstone containing the ashes of the victims of the extermination camps.
the US President commented.

President Trump reaffirmed the friendship between Israel and the United States, adding that Then he took inspiration from Jerusalem to appeal to unity:

Fr. FRANCESCO PATTON, ofm
Custos of the Holy Land
"On a local level, it is about trying to make a contribution on both the Israeli and the Palestinian sides."

Fr. FRANCESCO PATTON, ofm
Custos of the Holy Land
“Our hope is that this trip also contributes to the peace process. The speeches of President Trump, President Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu reveal a resounding wish to continue the peace process, not just here, but throughout the Middle East. "