Air Force One touched down at Ben Gurion Airport Monday afternoon, marking the beginning of President Donald Trump’s first state visit to Israel.
The president was greeted on the tarmac by President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Ambassadors David Friedman and Ron Dermer, and members of the Israeli cabinet.
After his arrival, President Trump addressed the gathering of Israeli officials and top IDF brass, calling Israel “one of the world’s great civilizations” and pledging to fight terrorism in the region and across the globe.
“Thank you, and Shalom. It is wonderful to be here in Israel. President Rivlin, Mrs. Rivlin, Prime Minster Netanyahu, Mrs. Netanyahu, thank you very much. I’m deeply grateful for your invitation, and very, very honored to be with you.
“On my first trip overseas as president, I have come to this sacred and ancient land to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between the United States and the State of Israel.
“In this land so rich in history, Israel has built one of the world’s great civilizations. A strong, resilient, determined, and prosperous nation.
“It is also a nation forged in the commitment that we will never allow the horrors and atrocities of the last century to be repeated.
“Now we must work together to build a future in which the nations of the region are at peace, and all of our children can grow, and grow up strong, and grow up free from terrorism and violence.
“We love Israel. We respect Israel. And I send your people the warmest greetings from your friend and ally, all of the people in the United States of America. We are with you.”