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The Latest: Trump may visit Israel for US Embassy opening

March 5, 2018

President Donald Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, March 5, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on relations between the United States and Israel (all times local):

12:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he may visit Israel in May for the opening of a new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Trump upset allies and roiled the Arab world last year by announcing that the U.S. was moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The new embassy is set to open in May, and Trump says he’ll head to Israel for the dedication ceremony “if I can.”

A ribbon-cutting for an interim facility is being planned to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence.

Trump commented during an Oval Office meeting Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Trump also said his embassy decision was “appreciated in a big part of the world.”

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12:10 p.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has arrived at the White House for meetings with President Donald Trump.

The two will hold talks and sit down to a working lunch before Netanyahu speaks later in the week at the annual conference of the powerful pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC.

The visit comes as Trump’s efforts to broker a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians appears stalled. Palestinians and other critics insist it will be dead on arrival.

Misgivings have also been percolating over Iran. Israel sees Trump’s efforts to crack down on its archenemy as lacking.

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1 a.m.

President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have reasons to celebrate but also ample cause for trepidation as they meet Monday at the White House.

Trump’s long-awaited Mideast peace plan has yet to arrive, even as Palestinians and other critics insist it will be dead on arrival. And although Israel’s government is overjoyed by Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, misgivings are percolating over Iran. Israel sees Trump’s efforts to date to crack down on Israel’s arch-enemy as lacking.

Netanyahu arrived in the United States over the weekend as Washington was gearing up for the annual conference of AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby. He plans to hold a meeting and working lunch with Trump on Monday before speaking at the conference later in the week

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