Obama Kicks off Historic Mideast Trip with First State Visit to IsraelS

President Obama arrived in Israel today on his first state trip to the country and the first leg of his tour of the Middle East. He is expected to discuss the crisis in Syria and Iran's disputed nuclear program with the leaders of Israel. He also plans to go to the West Bank on Thursday to meet with Palestinian officials, but there are not many expectations for progress towards peace.

Just after President Obama's arrival, Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the two countries have an "unbreakable alliance," and President Obama called the bond between their two countries "unbreakable." (Did you guys maybe read each other's speeches?)

It's expected that Netanyahu will try to get the U.S. President to agree to define a "red line" for Iran that will decide a point in the country's nuclear development that military intervention will be taken to prevent Iran from developing a bomb.

Obama's tour begins with the Iron Dome, the Israeli missile defense system battery close to Tel Aviv, for which the U.S. has provided extensive funding. He will also visit the Church of the Nativity, lay a wealth in the Hall of Remembrance, go to Jordan on Friday for talks and dinner with King Abdullah, and take a walking tour of the ancient city Petra on Saturday before returning to the U.S.

[Reuters, image via AP]