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President Trump arrived in Israel on Tuesday to kick-off the second leg of his first foreign trip as president with hopes to lay the groundwork to establish peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

At the airport, Trump urged both sides to take advantage of the “rare opportunity” that he said currently exists under his administration to bring security, stability and peace to the region.

“We have a rare opportunity to bring stability and peace in this region, defeat terror and create a future of peace,” Trump said after speeches from Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “We can only get there by working together – there is no other way.”

Trump’s remarks came after Netanyahu expressed his willingness to make peace with the Palestinians.

“Israel shares commitment to peace – already made with Egypt and Jordan,” he said. “Peace we seek is durable in which the Jewish state is recognized, security remains in Israel’s hands and conflict ends once and for all.”

Later Tuesday, Trump will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. After hosting Abbas at the White House in March, Trump boldly stated that achieving peace is “something that I think is, frankly, maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years.”

“But we need two willing parties,” he continued. “We believe Israel is willing. We believe you’re willing. And if you both are willing, we’re going to make a deal.”

White House aides have tried to play down expectations for significant progress on the peace process during Trump’s stop, casting it as more symbolic than substantive.

The Associated Press contributed this report.



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