Never mentioned Israel to Russians over intelligence leak

President Donald Trump said today that he "never mentioned" Israel during his controversial Oval Office meeting with Russian officials, in which he reportedly disclosed classified information that could have compromised an Israeli intelligence source.

Capping his first day in Israel on his first worldwide trip, President Trump expressed optimism Monday about a "new level of partnership" between the USA, the Jewish state and the Arab world.

(Yuri Kochetkov/Pool photo via AP, File). He has since spoken in support of Palestinian "self-determination".

A screen previewing the upcoming statements by Trump and Netanyahu noted the location as "Jerusalem, Israel".

Trump administration officials also have issued a range of answers when pressed to explain whether they believe Jerusalem is part of Israel. Though the New York Times later reported that the information he told the Russians was known because of US sources in Israel, it was never reported that Trump told the Russians where the information came from.

Israeli officials, meanwhile, say they are largely in the dark about what ideas Trump might present for peace or what concessions he may demand.

"And that will help reconciliation between Israel and the Palestinians", Netanyahu said.

It must be very odd for him not to be at a Trump property.

Arriving from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Mr Trump expressed his hope for co-operation among USA allies in the Middle East.

He has spoken of reviving long-stalled peace efforts between the Israelis and Palestinians, but few specifics have emerged of how he intends to do so.

Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia was his first overseas stop as president.

On Tuesday, Trump is to travel to Bethlehem to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. But Trump's unconventional approach to diplomacy has raised hopes that he may be well positioned to jump-start talks bogged down by entrenched interests and ancient enmity.

"I look forward to working closely with you to confront the dangers we face together in this violent and volatile Middle East", Netanyahu said in remarks before the two leaders, joined by their wives, sat down for dinner.

"It won't be simple", Netanyahu said.

In a visit that encompasses both political and religious symbolism, Trump spent two days in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with King Salman and other Muslim leaders. Trump also visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site where Christian tradition holds that Jesus was crucified and buried in a tomb.

Trump also paid a visit to Western Wall in the Old City of East Jerusalem, becoming the first sitting United States president to visit one of the most sacred sites in Judaism. The family was separated by gender.

Many visitors to the Western Wall leave prayer notes in the wall's crevices.

The letter noted that Trump's acknowledgment of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital would be consistent with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which stated that the US should recognize the city as the Israeli capital and relocate its embassy within it.

Israel occupied the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, in the Six-Day War of 1967. The White House did not provide comment on the matter by press time.

"Americans resorted to many different methods against Iran but failed in all ... we are waiting for the new government to find stability and continuity in its policies", he said.

He chose to focus firmly on Iran, pledging he would never let Tehran acquire nuclear arms and saying the deal struck with Tehran by the Barack Obama administration needed fixing. At an airport greeting ceremony, Israeli Cabinet Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the religious nationalist Jewish Home Party, asked Trump to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.

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