Netanyahu Praises Trump for ‘Reassertion of American Leadership in the Middle East’

• May 22, 2017 1:48 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a veiled shot at Barack Obama in remarks welcoming President Donald Trump to Israel on Monday.

After a tense relationship with Obama, Netanyahu lauded Trump for being a leader on the international stage and for his support of Israel.

As a sign of their personal friendship, Netanyahu frequently referenced Trump by his first name and thanked him for being the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Western Wall.

"I want to thank you especially today for your deep commitment to Israel's security, its wellbeing and its future," Netanyahu said. "I have no doubt that as we work together, you and I, the alliance between our countries will be ever stronger."

Netanyahu then cited Trump's strong opposition to Iran's nuclear program and for taking action against the Assad regime in Syria for using chemical weapons.

"I want to tell you also how much we appreciate the reassertion of American leadership in the Middle East," Netanyahu said. "I look forward to working closely with you, to confront the dangers we face together in this violent and volatile Middle East."

Netanyahu and Obama particularly clashed over the Iran nuclear deal, which Netanyahu argued paved Iran's path toward a nuclear bomb. Last month, Netanyahu praised the "great change" in foreign policy under Trump, adding that Defense Secretary James Mattis' words against Iran were "clear and forthright."