Benjamin Netanyahu departs for US visit
Jerusalem, Feb 13: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday before departing to Washington that he and US President Donald Trump have shared views on Middle East issues.
"The alliance between Israel and the US has always been very strong, and it's about to be even stronger," Netanyahu told reporters before embarking on the four-day trip to Washington.
"President Trump and I see eye-to-eye on the emanating threats in the region, and also the opportunities, and we will talk about both and also upgrading the relationship between Israel and the US," he said. Netanyahu's schedule includes meetings with Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Republican and Democrat leaders of the House and Senate, Xinhua news agency reported.
Ahead of the visit, Netanyahu's hard-line coalition partners pressured him to denounce the two-state solution, which the US has been supporting as the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "Israel should say it loud and clear: no to a Palestinian state, yes to an extended, united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty," said Yisrael Katz, transportation minister and a member of the ruling Likud Party.