Trump Invites Israeli PM Netanyahu to Washington

The American and Israeli leaders spoke on the phone today.

January 22, 2017, 5:14 PM

— -- President Donald Trump today invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington next month, making the Israeli one of the first foreign leaders with whom Trump will have met after taking office.

During a phone call today, one of Trump's first with a foreign leader, Trump and Netanyahu discussed Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, according to the White House and the prime minister's office. They also touched on the U.S.-Israel relationship, ISIS "and other radical Islamic terrorist groups," according to a statement from the White House.

Trump also invited the Israeli prime minister to visit Washington in early February, according to the White House. Netanyahu's office said in a statement that a final date would be determined in the coming days.

The call today was the third Trump has held with a foreign leader since Friday, according to the White House. He previously spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Saturday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is scheduled to meet with Trump in the Oval Office on Friday -- which would be Trump's first meeting with a foreign leader -- and Pena Nieto is set to meet with Trump at the end of the month.

Trump's call with Netanyahu comes as Israeli authorities today authorized building permits for 566 new homes in contested East Jerusalem, which Palestinians widely view as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Netanyahu and former President Barack Obama long had a frosty relationship, but Netanyahu has signaled he looked forward to working with Obama's successor. His office characterized their conversation today as "very warm."

"There are many issues between us including the Israeli-Palestinian issue, the situation in Syria and the Iranian threat," Netanyahu tweeted today, before the call. "Stopping the Iranian threat, and the threat reflected in the bad nuclear agreement with Iran, continues to be a supreme goal of Israel."

The White House said, during the call, Trump "emphasized that peace between Israel and the Palestinians can only be negotiated directly between the two parties, and that the United States will work closely with Israel to make progress towards that goal."

Trump has said he would move the United States' embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which Israel considers its capital, a move Palestinians and Israel's other Arab neighbors have warned could prove destructive to the peace process.

ABC News' Alexander Mallin and The Associated Press contributed reporting.

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