On Thursday, the White House announced that President Donald Trump will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican later this month during his first trip overseas as president. He says they will seek new cooperation to "combat extremism, terrorism and violence" and promote a more hopeful future for young Muslims.
The Israel visit, which will include meetings with Israeli leaders President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, comes as the Trump Administration has thrown itself at the issue of Middle East peace.
Trump is expected to visit with Pope Francis during his stop at the Vatican.
The stops will come before Trump attends a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels on May 25 and a G7 meeting in Italy on May 26.
The maiden foreign trips of United States presidents often take on broader symbolic importance, and by choosing the Middle East as his first stop, Trump will highlight his lofty promises to eradicate Daesh and bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
The official said that while "conventional wisdom" would tell you that Trump is "weak on alliances", the president is in fact "strong on alliance", provided allies pay their fair share toward defense.
The Middle East is to play host to Donald Trump on his first official foreign visit.
"Going there first, rather than Israel or one of our neighbors - Canada or Mexico - is clearly purposeful, potentially building a foundation for other moves like in the Middle East peace process, Iran, and perhaps elsewhere".
The senior administration officials said it's a time when the Trump administration can pursue policies that "strengthen our hand and weaken our enemies".
Meanwhile the Saudi Crown Prince said on his trip to Washington that Trump is a "true friend of Muslims".
Trump's morning audience with Francis will come just days before he is scheduled to attend a G7 summit meeting in Sicily. He has called for an end to the use of fossil fuels, while Trump has pledged to cancel payments to United Nations climate change programs and pull out of the Paris climate accord.
Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, will be President Trump's initial stop on his first global trip as president.
Pope Francis will receive President Donald Trump at the Vatican on May 24 in what could be an uncomfortable meeting given the world leaders' history of antagonism toward one another.
A former USA principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, Jerry Feierstein, said the Trump visit "makes flawless sense".