By Jueseppi B.
President Obama’s Trip to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan
By Megan Slack
In the first foreign trip of his second term in office, President Obama will visit Israel, the West Bank and Jordan. The trip is an important opportunity to meet with the new Israeli government and speak to the Israeli people, as well as meet with the Palestinian leadership and the King of Jordan.
We asked Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, to preview the upcoming trip and some of the issues the President would be discussing in his meetings.
All times Israeli – Jerusalem is 6 hours head of Washington, DC:
12:15 PM: President Obama lands at Israel’s international airport and is received with an honor guard. President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lead the welcoming committee. President Obama speaks briefly and visits an Iron Dome battery. The President then helicopters to Jerusalem.
4:00 PM: Peres hosts President Obama at a ceremonial welcome, followed by a working session.
5:20 PM: Netanyahu hosts President Obama for the trip’s most substantive talks, through the late afternoon into the evening.
8:10 PM: Netanyahu and President Obama hold a joint press conference, then move to a working dinner and more talks, before President Obama retires to his suite at the nearby King David Hotel.
Wednesday March 20th, 2013:
- President Obama will arrive in Tel Aviv, Israel, marking the President’s first trip to Israel as President of the United States.
- President Obama will view an *Iron Dome Battery in Tel Aviv, Israel.
- Later, President Obama will attend a bilateral meeting with Israeli President Peres in Jerusalem.
- In the afternoon, President Obama will attend a bilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, followed by a press conference.
- In the evening, President Obama will attend a working dinner hosted by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
* Iron Dome is a short range rocket and mortar defense system, which was developed by Israel and produced with U.S. assistance. The Iron Dome system has saved countless Israeli lives, most recently during the November 2012 Gaza conflict.
9:00 AM: President Obama visits the Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls, tours an exhibit showcasing Israeli innovations, and meets local high-tech entrepreneurs.
11:00 AM: President Obama travels to Ramallah, holds meetings with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad, delivers an address to young Palestinians.
4:40 PM: President Obama delivers the key public address of his visit at Jerusalem’s International Convention Center.
5:40 PM: The President meets with US diplomatic staff at the American Consulate in Jerusalem. He then returns to the President’s Residence, where Netanyahu joins him and Peres. In a late addition to the schedule, a pre-dinner meeting has also been slotted in for the President and Israel’s new opposition leader, Labor party chair Shelly Yachimovich.
8:00 PM: Peres hosts President Obama for a state dinner where he will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Distinction.
Thursday, March 21st, 2013:
- President Obama will visit the Israel Museum, where he will view the Dead Sea Scrolls and also attend a technology expo.
- President Obama will travel to Ramallah, West Bank where he will be greeted with an official arrival ceremony.
- In the afternoon, President Obama will have a bilateral meeting with Palestinian Authority President Abbas.
- President Obama will participate in a working lunch with Palestinian Authority President Abbas followed by a press conference.
- Later, President Obama will attend a cultural event at Al-Bireh Youth Center and will meet with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Fayyad.
- President Obama will give a speech at the Jerusalem Convention Center.
- In the evening, President Obama will attend a dinner hosted by Israeli President Peres and will receive the Presidential Medal of Distinction.
8:40 AM: President Obama visits Mount Herzl and lays wreaths on the graves of Theodor Herzl and Yitzhak Rabin.
9:30 AM: Tours the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum.
12:00 PM: Visits the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
3:00 PM Says goodbye at an official send-off at the airport, with Peres leading the farewells.
Arrives Jordan, meets with King Abdullah II, holds a joint press conference.
Friday, March 22nd, 2013:
- The President will attend wreath laying ceremonies at Mount Herzl at the grave sites of Theodor Herzl and Yitzhak Rabin.
- President Obama will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and participate in a wreath laying ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance.
- In the afternoon, President Obama will travel to Bethlehem where he will tour the Church of the Nativity.
- President Obama will travel to Amman, Jordan where he will be greeted by an official arrival ceremony.
- President Obama will have a bilateral meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan followed by a press conference.
- In the evening, the President will have dinner with King Abdullah II of Jordan.
Saturday, March 23rd, 2013:
- President Obama will travel to Petra.
- President Obama will begin his journey back to the United States.
MARCH 14, 2013 5:33 PM EDT
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