US Vice President Mike Pence to Visit Israel Jan. 22-23

Lester Mason
January 9, 2018

Vice President Pence's office has announced new dates for his delayed trip to the Middle East: Jan. 19-23.

The vice president originally was scheduled to arrive in Israel on the sixth night on Chanukah, but the trip was postponed due to an important vote taking place in the Congress.

"It should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Jerusalem should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states".

He will then depart to Jordan on the 21 January, where he will meet King Abdullah II.

Pence, a strong supporter of Trump's decision on Jerusalem, will also visit the city's Western Wall and give a speech at the Israeli parliament, it said.

A committee made up of Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinians and headed by Jordan was set up after an emergency meeting of the Arab League in Cairo shortly after Pres. Trump's decision, that called on Washington to abandon its decision.

"At President Trump's direction, the Vice President is traveling to the Middle East to reaffirm our commitment to work with the U.S.'s allies in the region to defeat radicalism that threatens future generations", Pence's press secretary Alyssa Farah said in a statement on Monday morning.

He plans to discuss with the three leaders "ways to work together to fight terrorism and improve our national security", she added.

Trump's announcement in early December declaring Jerusalem to be Israel's capital along with U.S. plans to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv shook up decades of U.S. foreign policy ahead of Pence's planned visit.

U.S. officials have said then the reason behind the delay was Pence's commitments for a Congressional vote on Trump's tax overhaul plan.

Pence was supposed to visit the region in December, including a visit to Bethlehem and meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas.

Trump defied overwhelming global opposition by recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but insisted that the highly controversial move would not derail his own administration's bid to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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