Source: Some ministers had planned to skip Trump's arrival
Trump is on his first foreign trip as president
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demanded his government ministers attend the arrival ceremony of US President Donald Trump on Monday morning after several of them said they were going to skip it, according to the office of one of the ministers.
The minister’s office, which spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the visit, told CNN that a number of ministers intended to skip the arrival ceremony at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport because it is expected to be brief.
Trump is expected to shake only the hands of Netanyahu and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
When Netanyahu realized the number of ministerial no-shows, he made attendance mandatory, the minister’s office told CNN.
Trump is on his first foreign trip as president. His visits include Saudi Arabia on Sunday; Israel on Monday and Tuesday, when he will also visit the Palestinian territories; Vatican City on Wednesday; Belgium on Wednesday and Thursday; and Italy on Friday and Saturday.
Initially hailed as a hero by Israel’s right wing, Trump campaigned on a promise of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognizing a united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moves that were certain to anger the Palestinians and the wider Arab world.
But after taking office, Trump walked back his promise to move the embassy almost immediately, saying it was still under consideration.
Last week, administration officials confirmed to CNN that the embassy would stay where it is – at least for now – as Trump pursued a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.