U.S. President Donald Trump arrives in Israel

Published: 11:38 GMT, May 22, 2017 |

President Donald Trump arrived in Israel Monday in an attempt to build on two days of talks in Saudi Arabia with Gulf leaders about a regional thaw between Arabs and Israelis, but the effort faces early headwinds.

The U.S. leader wants to build on the budding rapprochement to help unlock stalled peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. That progress risks coming undone by a growing list of disagreements between Israel and the U.S., including a $109 billion arms deal signed over the weekend between Mr. Trump and Saudi Arabia that could risk Israel’s military superiority.

Mr. Trump’s visit to the Middle East marks his first overseas trip as president. It aims to advance his administration’s efforts to help broker a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians after decades of conflict, and to prod Israel and its Arab neighbors to agree to new security cooperation measures in an attempt to counter Iran’s influence in the region.

In Israel, Mr. Trump will focus on pressing Israeli and Palestinian leaders to each take steps to convince the other that they are prepared to negotiate in good faith. White House officials say leaders from both sides have agreed in principle to direct talks, though it is unclear if or when those would begin