Jerusalem, Israel - Jan 22, 2018 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sunday morning at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, Israel, welcomed US Vice-President Mike Pence in a red carpet ceremony with a military honor guard. The two leaders stood for the national anthems, after which they exited the arrival tent and met privately, before holding expanded meeting with their entourages.
Prime Minister Netanyahu made the following remarks at the start of the meeting: "Mr. Vice-President, I’ve had the privilege over the years of standing here with hundreds of world leaders and welcome them, all of them to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. This is the first time that I’m standing when both leaders can say those three words, “Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.”
I want to thank President Trump and you for that historic statement, which I know you supported and championed. I look forward to discussing with you, as we’ve just begun, how to further strengthen our remarkable alliance—it’s never been stronger—and how to advance peace and security in our region, which is our common aim.
And I welcome you, dear friend, to Jerusalem. Welcome."
US Vice-President Pence responded: "Thank you Prime Minister. So, thank you for the warm hospitality, Mr. Prime Minister, and it is my great honor, on behalf of the President of the United States, to be in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, following on the president’s historic decision.
It is a great privilege for me to be here, and the opportunity to visit with you about issues of common concern, ways that we can strengthen the relationship between the United States of America and Israel, ways that we can confront common challenges. But also I look forward, you know, to speaking with you in detail about the opportunity for peace.
In making his historic announcement on December the 6th, President Trump did so convinced that by recognizing Israel’s capital of Jerusalem, that we would create an opportunity to move on in good faith negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on issues that can be discussed, and President Trump truly believes can be resolved.
And so I’m here, standing with you, looking forward to speaking about our common interests—in security, in prosperity—of Israel and the United States of America, but I also am here hopeful, hopeful that we are at the dawn of a new era of renewed discussions to achieve a peaceful resolution to the decades-long conflict that has affected this region.
And so I thank you for your leadership. I thank you for your hospitality. And it’s my great honor to call you a friend."
US flags adorned main streets along the route of the Vice-Presidential motorcade. Security forces were out in large numbers, while helicopters often flew above.
In the afternoon, a group of supporters gathered outside the Knesset gates with signs and flags waiting for the Vice-President to arrive. Their aim was to say "Thank You" and show solidarity and appreciation.
Pence's Knesset speech received multiple standing ovations. then the Vice-President and Karen Pence were to dine with the Netanyahus at the Israeli Prime Minister's Residence.
Tuesday's schedule includes a visit to Yad Vashem, and the Kossel, before the Vice-Presidential entourage leaves Israel in the evening.