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Trump 'didn't cite Israel' as source of Isis intelligence

Bs AP Reporters

US president Donald Trump said he never mentioned "the word or the name Israel" during a recent conversation with top Russian diplomats.

Speaking alongside Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr Trump was referencing revelations that he divulged classified information about an Islamic State threat during a recent meeting in Washington with Russia's foreign minister and ambassador.

US officials said the information originated from Israel.

Mr Trump, who is making his first visit to Israel as US president, said: "I never mentioned the word or the name Israel in that conversation."

Mr Netanyahu added that US-Israeli intelligence co-operation is "terrific".

Mr Trump said the story is another one the news media has got wrong.

The US president arrived in Tel Aviv from Saudi Arabia, and received a warm welcome from Mr Netanyahu.

Mr Trump and the first lady Melania Trump visited the Western Wall, an important Jewish holy site, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is believed to be where Jesus Christ was crucified and the location of his tomb.

Today, Mr Trump will meet Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.

After hosting Mr Abbas at the White House in March, Mr 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 Mr Trump's visit, casting it as more symbolic than substantive.

While Israeli officials cheered Mr Trump's election, some are now wary of the tougher line he has taken on settlements - urging restraint, but not calling for a full halt to construction.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph