David Friedman runs into Steven Tyler at Western Wall
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David Friedman runs into Steven Tyler at Western Wall

The newly arrived US envoy briefly speaks to Aerosmith lead singer at holy site, ahead of the band's Wednesday performance in Tel Aviv

Newly arrived Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks with Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray in Jerusalem's Old City, Monday, May 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Newly arrived Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks with Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray in Jerusalem's Old City, Monday, May 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

The new US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, arrived in the country on Monday to take up his position, traveling straight to the Western Wall to pray and running into none other than Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler, who was also visiting the site.

It was a coincidental meeting and the two spoke briefly before going their separate ways.

Aerosmith is set to perform in Tel Aviv on Wednesday. It’s been 22 years since the Boston-based rock band has been in Israel. More than 45,000 tickets have been sold for the Yarkon Park concert, produced by the local Bluestone Group.

Tyler arrived in Israel Saturday with his girlfriend ahead of the band’s performance.

Friedman, an Orthodox Jew, said after arriving in Israel that he “wanted to come straight to the holiest place in the entire Jewish world, the ‘Kotel HaMaaravi’, the Western Wall, straight from the airport,”

Friedman told reporters that he “prayed for the president, I wished him success especially on his upcoming trip.”

Trump will visit Israel May 22-23 as part of his first foreign trip. He will also stop in Saudi Arabia and the Vatican, as well as Brussels and Sicily for NATO and G7 summits.

Friedman and Tyler’s brief exchange came amid a diplomatic incident over earlier comments from a US official who told his Israeli counterparts that the Western Wall is not part of Israel. The remark came after the Israeli team working with the American delegation on Trump’s trip requested Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accompany the president when he visits the Western Wall.

A senior member of the US delegation reportedly sniped back that the Western Wall is “not your territory. It’s part of the West Bank.”

The White House later said the remarks were “unauthorized” and did not represent the stance of the Trump administration.

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