Giuliani to carry message from Trump to Netanyahu: ‘I like you very much’


(JTA) — Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said he will bring a message from President Donald Trump to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he visits Israel this week.

Appearing Monday morning on “Fox and Friends,” Giuliani was asked whether he will be relaying a message to Netanyahu from Trump during a business trip starting that evening.

“If I do, it’ll be from him,” Giuliani said. “But I can give the general message, which is ‘I like you very much and we’re very good friends.’

“They were friends even before. This is not a new relationship, but now obviously it’s a much more important one.”

Giuliani is traveling to Israel for his law firm, Greenberg Trauring, and while there will meet with Netanyahu — something he said he does every time he visits Israel since the two men have been friends for 25 years.

Last month, the Trump administration named Giuliani an unofficial adviser on cybersecurity.

Trump and Netanyahu spoke by phone for about a half hour on Sunday, and Trump told reporters that the call was “very nice.” A readout  of the call from the White House said that Trump ” emphasized the importance the United States places on our close military, intelligence, and security cooperation with Israel, which reflects the deep and abiding partnership between our countries.”

The readout added that Trump and Netanyahu “agreed to continue to closely consult on a range of regional issues, including addressing the threats posed by Iran,” and that Trump “affirmed his unprecedented commitment to Israel’s security and stressed that countering ISIL and other radical Islamic terrorist groups will be a priority for his Administration.”

Trump also “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,” according to the readout.

On Monday, Netanyahu reportedly told his Likud faction during a meeting that the call with Trump was “very warm” and that they would meet in Washington in February.

“After eight years in which I withstood enormous pressure on various issues, primarily Iran and the settlements, I certainly welcome the change of approach,” Netanyahu said at the meeting, according to The Times of Israel.

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