Obama in Israel for first visit as US president

Tel Aviv, March 20 (IANS) US President Barack Obama arrived onboard Air Force One at the airport of Tel Aviv in Israel Wednesday, starting his first visit as US president to the Jewish nation that is a staunch ally.

Obama will spend three days in Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan, before flying back to the US Friday. The Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the Iranian nuclear program are expected to top the agenda of his Mideast visit, reported Xinhua.

The first leg of Obama’s regional tour is seen aimed at “warming up” the Israeli people with him.
According to a recent survey by the Israel Democracy Institute, 36.5 percent of Jews in Israel view Obama as friendly towards their country, a considerable rise from 29 percent last year.
However, the poll also find while 51 percent of the respondents see the Obama’s attitude toward Israel as neutral, 10 percent of them view it as hostile.
On the front of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Obama told channel 2 last week that he is not coming to offer a grand peace plan but rather to “listen” to both sides.
Before becoming US president, Obama visited Israel twice.