Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump discussed Israel-Palestinian peace in a brief telephone conversation on Sunday and the newly-elected U.S. president invited the Israeli prime minister to the White House next month.
Trump stressed the close bond between the United States and Israel during the conversation, along with the "threats posed by Iran" and confronting the Islamic State "and other radical Islamic terrorist groups," according to the Washington Post.
Natanyahu described the phone call as a "very warm conversation."
"The Prime Minister expressed his desire to work closely with President Trump to forge a common vision to advance peace and security in the region, with no daylight between the United States and Israel," according to an Israeli statement.
"The two leaders discussed the nuclear deal with Iran, the peace process with the Palestinians and other issues. President Trump invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to come to Washington to meet him in February."
The tone between the men was a dramatic change from Barack Obama, who often clashed with Netanyahu over a variety of issues when he was the U.S. president.
"Mr. Obama's decision on (Dec. 23) not to block a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements laid bare all the grievances the two men have nursed since shortly after they took office in 2009," said The New York Times' Peter Baker. "For Mr. Netanyahu, it was the final betrayal by a president who was supposed to be an ally but never really was."
In a tweet after the U.N. decision, Trump signaled a pivot from Obama's stance.
Netanyahu told members of his security cabinet on Sunday that he will allow continued construction of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem, said the Post, despite the settlements now considered illegal by most of the world thanks to Obama.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has called Trump a "true friend" to Israel after Trump press secretary Sean Spicer said the administration was at the "very beginning stages" of discussing a move of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
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