Trump invites Netanyahu for early February meeting

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Sunday afternoon and Trump invited his counterpart to visit the US in early February, the White House confirmed.

In a statement after a phone call, the White House said Trump “affirmed his unprecedented commitment to Israel’s security” and said he invited Netanyahu to an early February meeting at the White House.

“The President 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. The President invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to an early February meeting at the White House,” the statement said.

Earlier Sunday, the White House said it is in the beginning stages of discussions regarding Trump’s pledge to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, although Israeli officials said this would not be the main focus of the call.

“He’s going to talk to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today about the Middle East, about Iran,” White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said earlier Sunday, previewing the call on NBC’s “Meet the Press.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer, asked whether a move will be announced soon, told reporters Sunday: “We are at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject.”