WOODBURY - President Barack Obama is in Israel tonight to assure the Jewish state of U.S. support.

On his first trip to Israel as president, Obama met privately with Israeli President Shimon Peres, then they planted a tree together to symbolize the strong roots between the two nations.

The two leaders said they agree that a Palestinian state alongside Israel is the goal for peace in the region.

Obama also met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

During a news conference, the president said he believes there is time to diplomatically resolve the tension over Iran's nuclear program, but Netanyahu said diplomacy and sanctions have not yet stopped Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Obama also said he has ordered an investigation into whether the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its own people.