President Donald Trump on Monday will meet with Reuven Rivlin, the president of Israel.
This comes as a part of President Trump’s first foreign trip, and it is the first time that Trump and Rivlin will meet. Trump on Monday will also meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom he met in February 2017.
So what the relationship been like between Donald Trump and Reuven Rivlin? Here’s what you need to know.
1. During the Campaign, Trump Met With Benjamin Netanyahu But Not Reuven Rivlin
Donald Trump has not yet met with Reuven Rivlin.
Trump did meet with Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, during the campaign, however. Originally, Trump and Netanyahu were scheduled to meet in December 2015, but Trump canceled the trip after Netanyahu criticized Trump’s proposed Muslim ban.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Muslims,” Netanyahu said in a statement at the time. “The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens. At the same time, Israel is fighting against militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians and Jews alike and threatens the entire world.”
At the time, there was some speculation that Trump might meet with Reuven Rivlin, as Rivlin was about to visit the United States. However, Rivlin ended up meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, and no meeting with Trump occurred.
Trump has since met with Benjamin Netanyahu several times.
2. After Trump Won the Election, Rivlin Said That the U.S. is the ‘Greatest Democracy’
Reuven Rivlin released a statement on November 9th congratulating Donald Trump on winning the election, and in this statement, he complimented the United States as the greatest democracy in the world.
“I want to congratulate President-elect Donald Trump, his family, and all the American people who have once again showed the world it is the greatest democracy,” he said.
Rivlin went on to say that the next U.S. president faces many challenges, and Israel is ready to assist Trump in tackling these problems.
“Israel, your greatest ally, stands by you as your friend and partners in turning those challenges into opportunities,” he said. “I hope together Israelis and Americans can grow our innovation and cooperation, with are the fruits of liberty and equality.”
3. In January, Rivlin Invited Trump to Israel
In January 2017, as Donald Trump was inaugurated and became the 45th president of the United States, Rivlin invited Trump to visit Israel.
“Mr. President, as a longstanding friend of the State of Israel, you now stand as leader of the free world, and of Israel’s most important and closest ally,” Rivlin said, according to Times of Israel. “The alliance between our states and our nations is not solely based on friendship. It is rooted in our shared values and longstanding commitment to freedom, liberty, and democracy — the foundation stones of our societies.”
Rivlin concluded the letter by officially making the invitation to President Trump.
“On behalf of our people, I wish you and your administration much success, and take this opportunity to extend to you an invitation to visit the State of Israel and be our guest in Jerusalem,” Rivlin said.
4. An Adviser of Trump’s Met with Rivlin in March
Although Donald Trump and Reuven Rivlin have not yet met, Trump did send an adviser to meet with Rivlin in March.
Rivlin at the time met with United States Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt. During the meeting, the two talked about a variety of issues including peace between Israel and Palestine.
In a statement, Greenblatt thanked Rivlin for their “in-depth and wide-ranging discussion, and for sharing his views on how Israel and the Palestinians could live in peace and security,” according to the Times of Israel. “Both men reiterated that the security of Israel and its citizens is of fundamental importance.”
Rivlin also thanked Greenblatt for meeting with him and said that he is “ready to assist on any issue as requested in order to promote advancement between Israel and the Palestinians.”
5. Rivlin & Trump Will Meet at Rivlin’s Residence
Donald Trump and Reuven Rivlin are expected to have a sit down meeting at Rivlin’s residence on Hanasi Street at 1:00 p.m, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Reuven Rivlin is also expected to join Benjamin Netanyahu in greeting Trump as Trump lands in Israel.
In a statement earlier this month, the White House said that Trump and Rivlin will “discuss a range of regional issues, including the need to counter the threats posed by Iran and its proxies, and by ISIS and other terrorist groups. They will also discuss ways to advance a genuine and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.”
Also on Monday, Trump will lay a wreath at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust remembrance center. On Tuesday, he will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.