Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with former New York City mayor and confidant of US President Donald Trump Rudy Giuliani Thursday morning, with the Prime Minister’s Office saying in a statement that Giuliani delivered a personal message from Trump to the prime minister in anticipation of their scheduled meeting in early February.
Giuliani, who is serving as an unofficial adviser on cybersecurity for the Trump administration, told Fox News earlier this week that he might pass a message of friendship from the US president to Netanyahu during his time in Israel.
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 said.
On Sunday, Netanyahu spoke with Trump by telephone for the first time since the latter’s inauguration, marking what some Israeli officials hope will be the start of a reset in ties with the US after years of strained relations with the administration of former US president Barack Obama.
Trump invited Netanyahu to visit Washington in February during the phone call, with a final date to be set in the coming days, a statement released Sunday from the PMO said.
Trump told reporters after the half-hour phone call that his conversation with Netanyahu was “very nice,” a sentiment the prime minister echoed on Monday when he said during a Likud faction meeting that their chat was “very warm.”
According to Netanyahu’s office the two leaders discussed the Iran deal, the peace process, and “other issues,” while “the prime minister expressed his desire to work closely with President Trump to forge a common vision to advance peace and security in the region, with no daylight between the United States and Israel,” Sunday’s statement said.
Giuliani is in Israel for his law firm, Greenberg Trauring. Guiliani said his meeting with Netanyahu is something he does every time he visits Israel, since the two men have been friends for 25 years.