Obama Arrives in Israel Amid Low Expectations
President Barack Obama arrived in Israel on Wednesday without any new peace initiative to offer disillusioned Palestinians and facing deep Israeli doubts over his pledge to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.
Making his first official visit here as president, Obama hopes to use the trip to reset his often fraught relations with both the Israelis and Palestinians in a choreographed three-day stay that is high on symbolism but low on expectations.
He was met at Tel Aviv airport by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Shimon Peres after Air Force One stopped next to a huge red carpet laid out down the tarmac.
Obama will hold lengthy talks with Netanyahu later in the day, with the two set to hold a news conference at 8:10 p.m. (6:10 p.m. ET). He will travel to the occupied West Bank on Thursday to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
U.S. officials say Obama will try to coax the Palestinians and Israelis back to peace talks. He will also seek to reassure Netanyahu he is committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear bomb and discuss ways of containing Syria’s civil war.