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Why Israel's Netanyahu Likened Trump to King Cyrus


WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump says he may travel to Israel for the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem expected in May.

The president told reporters his staff is looking at the possibility during a bilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office today.

The two men praised the close relationship between their two countries.

Prime Minister Netanyahu says it's "never been stronger."

It's his first visit to Washington since President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and started making plans to move the US embassy there.

In his remarks, Netanyahu mentioned the great leaders through history who have had a profound influence on the Jewish people and the state of Israel, including King Cyrus who liberated the Jews and issued an edict for the rebuilding of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem.

Some Christians have compared President Trump to King Cyrus, a bit of trivia it's likely Netanyahu knows, as he added Trump to the list of great leaders who will be revered by the Jewish people.

"Mister President, this will be remembered by our people throughout the ages," Netanyahu said with a smile.

He went on to address another major issue on his agenda.

"If I had to say what is our greatest challenge in the Middle East, to both our countries, to our Arab partners it's encapsulated in one word: Iran."

He told reporters the Islamic Republic is "practicing aggression everywhere" and that Israel and America "have to stop this country that chants 'Death to Israel' and 'Death to America'."

Meanwhile, President Trump says plans to transform the American consulate in Jerusalem into the new temporary American embassy are well underway. 

He says his staff presented him with a $1 billion plan for the transition, but he slashed the cost to $250,000.

The US is also making plans to build a new permanent embassy in Jerusalem.

The president says the US also continues to work on a Middle East peace deal, adding, "Taking Jerusalem off the table gives us a real opportunity for peace."

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